DUBAI // Diego Maradona insists his verbal clash with Cosmin Olaroiu will not a cast a shadow on tomorrow's match between Al Wasl and Pro League leaders Al Ain, but the Argentine legend suggested he would still refuse to shake hands with the "rude" Romanian.
Olaroiu, the Al Ain coach, and Maradona were involved in a verbal duel following their Etisalat Cup match in November, with the Romanian's goal celebration upsetting the Argentine.
Later, in the post-match news conference, Cosmin made references to Maradona's chequered past and questioned his coaching credentials. "Maradona doesn't always have a clear mind because of his life," Cosmin said. "I don't take drugs. My life is clear. I don't do anything."
Maradona is still upset about those comments, but said: "What happened outside the pitch between myself or the team and Cosmin will not affect anything on Saturday. It will not affect our players or our game.
"I do not blame any players from Al Ain. Also, personally, I don't think I can be blamed for anything that happened. It was purely one-sided from the Al Ain coach. What he said and did was very rude, and he is a very impolite person."
Maradona said he turned down an approach by Olariou after a Pro League match in December: "He wanted to shake my hand after the death of my mother, but I refused because I do not shake the hands of impolite people."
Al Wasl lodged a protest against Olariou's remarks and the matter was discussed at the Football Association's Disciplinary Committee, but only Maradona was fined for his "rude" remark.
"If anyone under my supervision acted in such a manner, I would take action," Maradona said. "But unfortunately nobody took action against what he did."
& Ahmed Rizvi