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Olaroiu feels shortchanged by officials

Shabab Al Ahli Dubai coach feels denied of a penalty against Dibba

Image Credit: AGL
Action from the match between Shabab Al Ahli Dubai and Dibba in the AGL. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Gulf News

Dubai: Coach Cosmin Olaroiu feels shortchanged by officials following a fourth successive draw for Shabab Al Ahli Dubai at the end of the eighth week in the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) this season.

Down to a 17th minute Ahmad Ebrahim goal, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai had to wait for Makhete Diop’s 67th minute equaliser and fight for a point against Dibba. The former seven-time champions continued in the top half of the standings with 13 points after their last four games have all ended in draws. The last time the newly-merged team from Al Ghusais won full points was after a 4-0 drubbing of Emirates Club way back in mid-October.

Olaroiu did not mince his words after the match. “Normally I wouldn’t blame the officials, but you have all seen how we were denied a sure penalty today. I am not here to complain, but rather just play good football, which I believe should be rewarded with good results. When we play, we deserve to win. And then you have one or two decisions in a match that go against your team and this is the result,” Olaroiu told media at the post-match review, late on Saturday.

“People may think that there is something wrong with us in the locker room. I doubt that is true. It’s more than the locker room as decisions keep going against us all the time. Al Jazira got a penalty. Al Ain got a penalty, but it is never Shabab Al Ahli Dubai [who gets penalty kicks],” he added.

The Romanian insisted that the results have very little to do with his team playing badly either. “When we don’t play well, then I won’t find excuses. But when we just play well and still don’t get the results due to the decisions made [by the referees], then it is something to think about,” Olaroiu pointed out.

“It is like everything negative and wrong is suddenly coming together now for my team. No doubt, we make mistakes on the field, but what can one say about the decisions?” he queried.

Results after the eighth round see Shabab Al Ahli Dubai in fourth place with 13 points trying to play catch-up with leaders Al Wasl (20 points), Al Ain (18) and Al Wahda (16). “This is a tough situation to be in at the moment. Things are now getting difficult for us as we are constantly chasing the top teams, and the difference in points has been increasing,” Olaroiu admitted.

“We are next against Al Nasr [November 24] and perhaps, sometimes when you face a difficult situation then it important to fight and change things,” he hoped.

The ninth round of action in the AGL will be held on November 23-24.