DUBAI: Embattled Argentine superstar coach Diego Maradona showed his support on Saturday for the Palestinian people and promised the national team to visit their country.
“I am the number one fan of the Palestinian people. I respect them and sympathize with them as they all need that we stand by them,” Maradona told dpa in Dubai, where he coaches the al-Wasl football team.
“I promised the Palestinian football team to visit Palestine. I support this nation’s cause as I grew up on struggle and standing against injustice,” he said.
In August, the Argentine star accepted the Palestinian black-and-white scarf from a fan. He hugged the fan and thanked him, before flashing a victory sign and telling the camera “Viva Palestina.”
Maradona also expressed his happiness after his team won 4-3 against their rivals Al Jazira team, reaching the semi-finals in the Pro League in the United Arab Emirates.
“The players followed my instructions and won this match after several failures,” he said.
Maradona has been coaching Al Wasl since May under a two-year contract.
He will travel with his team to Oman on Monday for their first match in the Gulf Champions League.
He has faced a bit of controversy in recent months, with speculation he could take over the UAE national team in the near future.
(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 06.03.2012)