Dubai: The firing of Diego Maradona as coach of Al Wasl will be a loss for professional football in the United Arab Emirates, the head of the country's Football Association said on Wednesday, after the former Argentina great helped put the league on the global map.
Yousuf al-Sarkal, the president of the UAE Football Association, told The Associated Press he was "disappointed" to hear that Al Wasl had fired Maradona and said he should have been given more time to turn around the Dubai club. He said that the club's failure to win any trophies and its eighth-place finish in the 12-team league cannot be solely blamed on Maradona, adding it was a "collective work involving the coach, players and management."
Maradona was fired on Tuesday after one season in charge, having signed a two-year deal in May 2011. The club's board of directors resigned in June following the poor season. The new board initially backed Maradona but on Tuesday announced that he and his technical staff had been relieved of their duties. It gave no reason and made no mention of a replacement.