Sunday, 10 June 2012 08:01
Thenational - Diego Maradona has become embroiled in another row, this time with the coach of Iran, who refused to release one of his players for the second leg of the Gulf Club Championship final tonight.
The Al Wasl coach had lobbied with Carlos Queiroz, a former coach at Real Madrid, for special dispensation to recall the forward Mohammed Reza Khalatbari from national duty.
Quieroz refused; he wants Khalatbari in peak condition for the 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Qatar on Tuesday.
Khalatbari scored in Iran's 1-0 win over Uzbekistan in the opening match of the Asia Zone final-round qualifier last Sunday.
"I called Carlos personally to request him for the release of this player for this game but he flatly refused and had some very harsh words at me," Maradona said. "This was uncalled for."
Wasl managed without Khalatbari in the 3-1 first-leg victory against Al Muharraq in Bahrain last week and should clinch the trophy at the Zabeel Stadium tonight. Kick off is at 7.50pm. "It's not over yet," Maradona said.
"We will play as if we don't have any advantage. If we think we have a lead and could relax, that would be inviting trouble. So we will take this as a fresh game and try to win.
"I think we deserve to end this season with a trophy after all the frustration we have been through. Our team had a good performance in the first game but Muharraq will come back very hard at us, and they are a dangerous team."