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Olaroiu calls for crackdown on time-wasting

Shabab Ahli Dubai coach warns fans will stop coming if no action is taken

Image Credit: Courtesy: AGL
Gulf News

Dubai: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai coach Cosmin Olaroiu called for the Arabian Gulf League to clamp down on time-wasting after his side were left frustrated in their 3-1 win away to newly-promoted Ajman on Saturday.

It took 76 minutes for the visitors to finally peg back Mohammad Sabeel’s 27th minute opener, courtesy of a Makhete Diop’s penalty, before the floodgates opened with efforts from Henrique Luvannor and a second from Diop, both of which came within the last four minutes of normal time.

Ajman went down to 10 men before the equaliser as Hassan Zahran walked for a second yellow after bringing down Luvannor inside the box, resulting in the penalty. And Shabab Ahli lost a man when Hassan Ebrahim was sent off following a second yellow for his lunge on Modibo Maiga deep in stoppage time.

With this result, Shabab Ahli are now second in the league behind Al Wahda on goal difference, following last week’s 4-1 opening win at home to Hatta, but Olaroiu still wasn’t happy.

“It was a tough game as we predicted,” he said. “I thank the players for their efforts, for not surrendering and for continuing to fight for the three points.

“In games like this we must take the appropriate action for time-wasting,” he added. “In each attack I saw an opposing team’s player on the floor.

“If we are going to develop UAE football and entertain the audience we should stop wasting time. Our goal is to attract an audience but with time-wasting no one will come.”

In 2013 the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) introduced a 60 minutes ‘Don’t Delay, Play!’ campaign to encourage Asian clubs to keep the ball in play for at least 60 minutes. This was after studies found the average ‘ball in play’ time in Asian football was just 52.07 minutes, 7.25 minutes less than Fifa competitions, and 11.50 minutes less than European leagues. The average attendance for Arabian Gulf League matches last season was just over 2,500 people per match.

Ajman are now second from bottom with this being their second consecutive defeat after opening with a 2-1 loss away to defending champions Al Jazira last week.

Al Jazira couldn’t follow it up, suffering a shock 1-0 defeat away to Dibba on Friday. Dibba had bounced back from an earlier 5-0 thrashing away to Al Wahda last week to go sixth with this victory. Al Wahda are top after adding a 2-1 win away to Al Nasr on Friday. Record 12-time league champions Al Ain and last year’s runners-up Al Wasl, who drew against each other in Al Ain last week, both got respective wins this week to go third and fourth. Al Ain beat Hatta 3-0 away on Saturday and Al Wasl beat Emirates 3-1 at home on Thursday. In Thursday’s earlier game Al Dhafra beat Sharjah 2-0 at home to go fifth.

 

Results

Thursday

Al Dhafra 2 Sharjah 0

Al Wasl 3 Emirates 1

Friday

Dibba 1 Al Jazira 0

Al Nasr 1 Al Wahda 2

Saturday

Hatta 0 Al Ain 3

Ajman 1 Shabab Ahli 3

Arabian Gulf League standings

P W D L F A Df Pts

1 Al Wahda 2 2 0 0 7 1 6 6

2 Shabab Ahli 2 2 0 0 7 2 5 6

3 Al Ain 2 1 1 0 5 2 3 4

4 Al Wasl 2 1 1 0 5 3 2 4

5 Al Dhafra 2 1 1 0 5 3 2 4

6 Dibba 2 1 0 1 1 5 -4 3

7 Al Jazira 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 3

8 Al Nasr 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1 1

9 Sharjah 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1

10 Emirates 2 0 1 1 4 6 -2 1

11 Ajman 2 0 0 2 2 5 -3 0

12 Hatta 2 0 0 2 1 7 -6 0

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