World soccer’s reputation as being a place where humor isn’t looked upon kindly has received another ringing endorsement. Most would not have jumped at the opportunity to tune into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) vs Lebanon on Sunday – let alone record the highlights. Thankfully, someone did record the 6-2 drubbing in all its glory – including THE penalty
Awana Diab is the accused party amongst all this after he ran up to take the kick and then turned around the back heel it into the net. We’ll give you a moment to savor UAE’s latest excellent export…
The UAE player’s antics have angered both sides that we involved in the match as well as the authorities. Lebanon’s players formed a lynch mob and proceeded to shout really loud at Diab. His own manager and coach were also far from impressed.
Manager Esmaeel Rashed, told The National newspaper, “This should have not happened. I think what happened is disrespectful. We cannot accept anyone in our team who does not respect the opponent.”
Srecko Katanec, UAE coach, after substituting the player, added, “We will resolve this inside our team and there will be no more talking about it,” he said. “This is not respect, OK? I am unhappy. My reaction was normal. I took him out.”
I blame the guy between the sticks. If you are an international standard goalkeeper, then a player should not be able to run up, turn a full 180 degrees and back heel it into the net without you putting as much as a toenail in the way. The elaborate finish brings back memories of other unorthodox goings on in the world of football though.
Soccer, all we’re asking is that you embrace the fun that can be had on the field of play. It’s predictable enough as it is and we don’t want it going any further that way.