Diego Maradona fired as Al Wasl coachBy: MICHAEL CASEY
DUBAI – Diego Maradona was fired as Al Wasl coach on Tuesday after disappointing season in which the former Argentina great failed to win a title for the Dubai club.
Maradona had one year left on his contract, but the club’s board of directors met Tuesday and issued a statement saying the former World Cup winner and his technical staff had been immediately relieved of their duties.
Maradona, who was on vacation and not in Dubai, could not be reached for comment. A replacement for Maradona was not announced.
“Following a meeting ... held today to evaluate the technical staff of Al Wasl football team under the leadership of coach Diego Maradona, it was decided to terminate his services and his technical staff,” the board said in its statement, parts of which were also put on its Twitter feed.
Expectations were great when Maradona arrived in Dubai on a two-year deal in May 2011. He was popular with fans and helped put United Arab Emirates football on the map, but his team finished eighth in the 12-team league and failed to either qualify for next season’s Asian Champions League nor win any domestic titles.
The final straw appears to have been the team’s failure to win a second-tier competition called the GCC Champions League at the end of the season.