Sport | Football

Ugly scenes erupt after Dubai football match

Crowd trouble erupts between players' families and rival fans

  • By Ashley M. Hammond, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:14 March 29, 2012

  • Image Credit: ARSHAD ALI/Gulf News
  • Veronica Ojeda (front left), the partner of Maradona (behind her), covers her eyes as WAGs being taken to safety away form the stadium after the crowd trouble in the stands during the Shabab v Al Wasl game on Thursday, March 29, 2012. Shabab won two nil.
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Dubai: Ugly scenes erupted at the end of Al Shabab’s 2-0 Etisalat Pro League victory over Al Wasl in Al Mamzar on Thursday night, resulting in the evacuation of player’s wives and girlfriends from the stadium by police and players, including Diego Maradona, who mounted the stands from the pitch to help his partner Veronica.

Ciel, a Brazilian striker, who set up and then scored in the 2-0 win was the subject of much fury by Argentinean supporters from Diego Maradona’s entourage, which included Maradona’s partner Veronica and Al Wasl player Juan Mercier’s other half. This reaction in turn sparked fury from Al Shabab supporters defending the Brazilian after countless insults were exchanged.

In the rush to get wives and girlfriends out of the stadium and into the safety of their cars – for fear of trouble - Juan Mercier’s partner tripped and fell down the stairs before Mercier himself ran to her aide. Maradona was beside Mercier to assist his own partner to safety.

Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona said: “Some people are cowards. They only attack women and have no courage to confront men. This is the first time I am upset with the fans. If they are angry with me they should know that I did it [climbed the stands] for my wife because someone was calling her names. They shouldn’t be angry with me they should be angry with the people who did this. They are cowards, not real fans.

“I accept defeat but I am not happy with what happened against the fans tonight. Any fans upset by this should know that I was only there to defend my wife and I am only against the people who were directly insulting my wife.”

Paulo Bonamigo coach of Al Shabab said of the incident: “I didn’t see anything. By the time that that was happening we were already down the tunnel. I don’t think it had anything to do with our players. So it wasn’t a problem with us. I have no comment. If there is anything to comment about this we will regroup, discuss and make a statement only after knowing all the facts. But as of now we didn’t see anything."
 

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