Al Shabab angry with Al Wasl, as they back coach Diego Maradona after confronting abusive fans

The Argentine labelled the Al Shabab fans in question as 'cowards' after jumping into the stands to confront, but the home club have hit back on the row
Al Shabab have hit back at Al Wasl and Diego Maradona after Thursday's ugly confrontation between the Argentine coach and fans at a game between the two sides.

Maradona claimed "cowardly" Al Shabab fans had hurled abuse at his wife and player Juan Mercier's partner, leading to the coach to enter the terraces in an ugly scene. The Argentine had to be restrained by police and escorted back to the dressing room.

Al Wasl denounced the abuse of the small group of fans and backed Maradona's actions as they felt the treatment of females was unacceptable, however Al Shabab vice president Bu Humaid responded claiming Maradona's party initiated the trouble and his club's involvement in the incident was minimal.

"What happened that evening did not involve the Al Shabab administration and even the fans involved in the incident were neutral spectators. Al Wasl's statement condemns what happened, but to also indirectly accuse Al Shabab is not fair and we have a right to reply," Humaid told Gulf News.

He added: "The wife of Maradona and her friends verbally abused one of our players as he was leaving the pitch, he's a Brazilian and they are Argentinian and they hate one another.

"Some fans tried to calm them down and tell them it is not acceptable to insult the player. Things escalated and both parties started yelling at each other. The wife of Maradona was swearing and the women were throwing water bottles at fans and police.

"After things calmed down, the chairman of Al Shabab went into the Al Wasl dressing room to apologise on behalf of the club, but Maradona abused the chairman in Spanish. We didn't understand, but it was clear from his body language that he was swearing at the chairman."

Al Wasl had previously said in a statement that the behaviour of the fans was unacceptable in a country where women are treated with the utmost respect.

Al Wasl acting chief Abdullah Al Bishr said in a statement: "Any such abuse is unacceptable but it is even more offensive when it offends women.

"Our cultural guidelines frown on such behaviour that shook everyone in the stadium or who watched what happened on television. That is why the incident garnered such global attention."

He added: "We offer our sincere apologies to Maradona for what took place on behalf of the few who offended UAE culture by their actions. This is a society, which by its very nature, does not insult women by cursing and harassing, but is brought up to treat them with respect."

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