We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 2 Sep 2012 06:28 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Maradona takes Dubai sports ambassador role

New job for Argentine football legend after being sacked by UAE club Al Wasl

Maradona takes Dubai sports ambassador role
Argentine legend Diego Maradona (AFP/Getty Images).

Diego Maradona was appointed Dubai Honorary Ambassador of Sports on Sunday, less than two months after being sacked by the UAE club Al Wasl.

The Argentine voiced a desire to coach in China during a trip to Beijing in August, but has accepted the ambassadorial role with Dubai Sports Council (DSC) after turning down "unsatisfactory" coaching offers.

His new role will also help resolve a dispute with Al Wasl, which sacked him in July just over a year into a two-year contract.

"Dubai Sports Council and I have discussed a few ideas and they are serious about upgrading the sports sector in Dubai," the 51-year-old World Cup winner told a news conference in Dubai. "For those who think that I have fallen down or I have collapsed, I'm stronger now."

The former world player of the year offered few details as to what his job will entail and Ahmad al-Sharif, secretary-general of Dubai Sports Council, was similarly vague.

"Maradona will inspire the new generation of talented players to reach the highest athletic levels possible," said Sharif.

Maradona's appointment comes after he was sacked as coach of Dubai-based Al Wasl following a trophyless season in which the club finished eighth in the 12-team UAE Pro League and suffered a surprise defeat in the Gulf Champions League final.

The Argentine's AED800,000 ($217,800) a month contract with the club was until August 2013, which the Dubai Sports Council will now take over, said DSC spokesman Murad al-Masri.

Dubai subsidises several of the emirate's soccer clubs, paying Al Wasl, Al Ahli and Al Nasr AED40m each in 2012, while Al Shabab will receive AED60m this year, according to Masri. He explained this money goes towards the clubs' wider sporting operations, not just soccer.

Maradona described some of the pressures facing a coach, even in a relative football backwater such as the UAE.

"I used not to sleep at all and it's really hectic and really tiring. For me, I would like to live more years," he said. "I would like to retire or relax for some time."

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.
Abdul 8 years ago

Well! Is his ethical background and reputation perceived positively globally?

Ali 8 years ago

Well well well......this is not new..I have seen this trend only in and only in U. A .E. The guy gets fired for not performing and just coz he has influential friends he comes back after 3 months or in some cases 6 months on a bigger post , more responsibilities and a much big pay. Sometime I laugh and think what in world happens here.

David 8 years ago

Good point Abdul and I doubt that it is, especially his morals.