AMMAN: Jordan’s Mahmoud Za’tarah has insisted he would kick the ball out of play again as the Al-Wehdat striker did after seeing an opposing player injured, despite being clear through on goal.
The incident sparked worldwide debate as his team were 2-0 up in the closing minutes of their Asian Cup-tie against Al Nahda of Oman in the Asian Club Cup. Al-Wehdat went on to win 3-0.
Za’tarah, who is likely to receive a club award and must also be in line for a FIFA fair play acknowledgement, said via the Jordan Olympic Committee: “I would do it again whatever the score. It is one of Al-Nashama’s characteristics to respect the opponent regardless of the result. Fair play is always our message.
“I felt like it was my duty to help that player who went down injured and not to take advantage. Football is not a game to win or lose, it’s also the place where you can make friendships and show respect to everyone.
“In this kind of situation, you are focused on the safety of other players, not on the result.”
Al-Wehdat manager Abdullah Abu Zeme’ was proud of his player, saying: “We are all proud of Za’tarah. Respect to others is one of the messages that Jordanians always deliver in their overseas participation.”