Al Wasl hit out at Al Ain and 'distasteful' Cosmin Olaroiu after fiery clash
Al Wasl have strongly criticised Al Ain, their coach Cosmin Olaroiu, and their supporters after incidents that occurred during and after Saturday’s Etisalat Cup match at Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium, won 1-0 by the home side.
Olaroiu was seen gesticulating at the Wasl bench after his side grabbed what proved to be the winner after half an hour of the clash, with the Romanian coach banished to the stands for the remainder of the match by the referee.
However, the drama didn’t end there, as Olaroiu went on the offensive once again at the post-match press conference, making references to Maradona’s colourful career.
“You know Maradona doesn’t always have a clear mind because of his life. He doesn’t wish to have the brain clear all the time...I don’t take drugs, my life is clear, I don’t do anything. I don’t disrespect the people here, but he can do anything, me they kick me out, why?” he said.
There was also allegations of disturbances between rival sets of fans after the game, which isn’t the first time these two clubs have had their differences, on or off the pitch.
In May Al Ain were forced to play two matches away from home after their fans verbally abused an Al Wasl player, while the club also received a fine for crowd trouble in a home game with Al Nasr last season.
The weekend’s events provoked a colourful response from Al Wasl, who released a statement on Monday criticising the events of Saturday night.
“The Media Office of Al Wasl Football Company denounces the actions of Al Ain’s Romanian coach, Cosmin Olaroiu, at the sixth round of the Etisalat Cup that occurred last Saturday in Al Ain, where the coach and his assistants celebrated in a derogatory and disrespectful manner following a goal that was scored by Al Ain.
“The problems arose following Al Ain’s goal, which prompted Cosmin to celebrate in a disparaging way that included gestures directed towards Al Wasl’s Head Coach, Maradona, and his staff.
"The behaviour is unacceptable and unsportsmanlike, and led to the dismissal of Cosmin for the remainder of the match. Al Wasl personally feels that there is no place for what transpired last Saturday in the game of football, and that Al Ain - as a respectable team - should be above such behaviour.
“Things went from bad to worse as the coaches took to the post-match press conferences, where the tension was also evident in Cosmin’s distasteful statements, which attacked Maradona’s personal life.
“Commenting about Maradona’s personal life, past and history, is unacceptable and is irrelevant to any matter that is currently at hand.
"It is very surprising that a professional coach like Cosmin, who has a lot of experience in the game, would say something like this. We urge that from now on, he stick to what goes on during the match,” it read.
The statement also went on to blast the behaviour of a section of Al Ain supporters, who, it is alleged, threw missiles at Maradona and Al Wasl fans.
“Al Wasl is upset at the inconveniences that were suffered by Maradona and Al Wasl fans from a group of Al Ain fans who surprisingly attacked by throwing stones at them and their cars, and even physically attacking a few.
"This kind of behaviour is unacceptable, as Al Wasl fans are one of the main pillars of Al Wasl and we will not allow anyone to inflict any harm upon them.
"We are patiently awaiting the Pro-League Committee’s decision, and are confident that they will take the necessary action against the wrong-doers following the irresponsible acts that Al Wasl fans fell victim to.”
Al Wasl have called on the UAEFA to take action on all the alleged issues that arose during Saturday night’s bad-tempered clash.