Diego Maradona: I'm staying at Al Wasl, even without reinforcements

The Argentine legend had threatened to quit the Dubai club recently but following club meetings has calmed down although he doesn't appear entirely content
Diego Maradona has spoken to reporters for the first time since declaring his intention to remain at Al Wasl for the length of his contract despite his recent threats to quit the club due to a lack of player recruitment.

Al Wasl released a statement over the weekend after meetings with the Argentine legend which clarified the two parties had agreed to have Maradona commit to seeing out his two-year contract which expires in June 2013.

However, speaking to reporters for the first time since the statement, in the wake of Al Wasl's 2-0 Pro-League loss to Al Wahda on Sunday which saw the side slump to eighth, Maradona appeared rather unenthusiastic but said he would remain in Dubai.

“If I said something about the board or management in the past then it was out of frustration, but I will fight with what I have next season. Even if there are no reinforcements, I will continue to fight with what I have,” Maradona declared.

He added: “During my meeting with the board last week I was told what is required of me and regarding reinforcements they are making it available that’s why I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

“When I spoke with Marwan (chairman bin Bayat) regarding reinforcements I was told that players were made available before I joined. Maybe this was not clear to me or maybe I did not understand it well enough over the last seven months that’s why I don’t want to talk about it.”

He continued: “If there was a problem here then maybe it was about not enough support [to buy better players]. In the next meeting, I will discuss some changes to be made and I will coach the players Wasl sign and I will respect my contract."

Maradona also blamed his side's disappointing 2011-12 campaign for a lack of fitness but vowed to improve next term.

“When the same players are playing week after week their fitness level is bound to drop," he said. "It doesn’t bother me, but a lack of fitness is the main problem.

"I know some people have different views about it but I will work even under these circumstances. If we can’t achieve success this season then we will work harder to achieve better results next season and I thank Wasl for giving me this chance to continue as coach next season.”

Follow Ben Somerford on

Follow Goal.com Asia on and for the latest in Asian footballing news, features, and analysis