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Dubai Sports Council defends choice of Diego Maradona

Top official expresses confidence that legend’s impact as ambassador will grow

Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Sports Council (DSC) has insisted that Diego Maradona’s ambassadorial role more than pays for itself by way of raising the profile of Dubai.

“Over the past one year I have come to know Maradona on a personal level. In fact, when we requested him on his contract renewal he was only too willing to do so. He has not even enquired about the monetary benefits involved,” Dr Ahmad Sa’ad Al Sharif, DSC general secretary, told media here on Tuesday.

“He has played a pivotal role in the success of the DSC. He has always held a state of openness with us and this has helped tourism between Argentina and the UAE. Maradona’s role will continue and the success of last season will be doubled through this renewal of contract.

“His presence among us means a lot. We do not deal with him only as a source of funding. He participates with us in any activity that we organise. We feel the sense of warmth through his presence with us. I was frequently asked how I dealt with Maradona. I find that he is a simple man and he holds a lot of human values and these have helped enhance Dubai on the world stage. We are dealing with an exceptional personality.”