Dubai: Diego Maradona is no longer in charge but Fujairah could still end up in the Arabian Gulf League next season after beating Hatta 2-1 at home in the first leg of the play-offs on Wednesday.
The legendary Argentine left the club by mutual consent after failing to secure automatic promotion from the second tier on the last day of the season last month.
Fujairah then made a stunning U-turn on their decision and tried to lure him back for the play-offs and another season, but his agent asked for four-times his salary, forcing the club to abandon their attempts.
Abdullah Misfer has since taken charge in a caretaker capacity and led the Wolves to a 2-1 win over Hatta, with Danilo Carando netting on four and 81 minutes either side of Mohammad Malallah’s 55th minute equaliser.
In Wednesday’s other play-off first leg Emirates beat Al Hamriyah 1-0 at home thanks to Sebastian Saez’ 21st minute effort.
The return legs will both be played on Sunday, May 13.
The Arabian Gulf League went down from 14 teams to 12 last season after the merging of Al Shabab, Al Ahli and Dubai Club to form Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club, and Sharjah’s merger with Al Shaab to form Sharjah Sports and Cultural Club.
Next season however, the league will go back up to 14 teams. In order to determine who will go up with the winners and runners-up of the First Division (second tier) Bani Yas and Kalba, a play-off is being held between AGL relegated sides Emirates and Hatta, and the third and fourth-placed finishing sides from the second tier, Fujairah and Al Hamriyah.