DUBAI: Al Wasl have  sacked  Diego Maradona and his staff halfway through his two year contract and a week after speculation began about an imminent parting of the ways.

A club statement said: “Following a meeting held by the board of directors of Al Wasl Football Company to evaluate the technical staff of Al Wasl under the leadership of coach Diego Maradona, it was decided to terminate the services of coach Diego Maradona and his technical staff.”

Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning inspiration and captain is currently back home on holiday.

Al Wasl finished a poor eighth last season in the 12-team league, a finish which prompted the resignation of the board last week. They also dropped a 3-1 first leg advantage in the GCC final against Bahrain’s Al Muharrah.

Maradona had insisted in the post-match press conference that he would return next season and that he was already looking forward to sitting down with the club and planning the team’s future, including several new signings.

His coaching career has bounced from one failure to another with  Mandiyu and Racing Club in Argentina in 1994 and 1995 and then as boss of Argentina at the 2010 World Cup finals. His side, despite the inclusion of Leo  Messi, lost 4-0 to Germany in the quarter-finals.

The last straw with Al Wasl was Maradona’s decision to pick goalkeeper Majid Naser for matches in the Gulf Champions League despite the player being in the middle of a 17-match domestic ban for slapping Al Ahli coach Quique Sanchez Flores after a match between the two sides.

Majid’s inclusion in the side beaten by Al Muharraq proved disastrous as he was sent off for head-butting an opponent.


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