Al Jazira could be without Romarinho for Friday’s Arabian Gulf Cup match against Al Ain after the Brazilian was detained in Qatar on Wednesday with the club threatening to report the case to FIFA if it’s not resolved by end of Thursday.
Reports emerged on social media that Romarinho, 26, was detained at Doha International Airport on Wednesday after travelling to settle payments owed by his former club El Jaish. The Brazilian moved to The Pride of Abu Dhabi this summer on a free transfer following April’s liquidation of El Jaish.
A club source confirmed the attacking winger was stopped in Doha having failed to turn up for training on Wednesday after being given Tuesday off. They are hopeful there is a solution, although they will get FIFA involved if that’s not the case.
“He went to Qatar yesterday (Tuesday) for one day leave and they stopped him today at the airport,” the source said. “But we don’t know the reason why they stopped him. We have given 24 hours to resolve this issue for the authorities. If this is not resolved, we will go up to the highest level in FIFA.”
It’s the latest chapter in a political saga that has been running for almost four months since the UAE and a number of Gulf countries severed ties with Qatar in June.
Surprisingly, Al Jazira head coach Henk Ten Cate seemed unaware of Romarinho’s situation when quizzed during the pre-match press conference but the Dutchman felt sorry for the summer arrival.
“Even if he gets on the flight and gets back, he’s missed two days of training,” said the 62-year-old.
“He’s not going to start. This must have been an emotional thing for this guy. Can you imagine that you’re stuck somewhere and you cannot leave? It’s an emotional issue. I’ll have to speak to him first and see how he feels. I don’t know nothing about this and only in the training session I only knew something about this.
“The focus should lie on the football and concentrate on the football match against Al Ain. For me this is very important. How sorry I feel for Romarinho, my main interest goes to my team.”
The Local Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 has launched its volunteer programme to the general public.
The programme will give over 1,000 volunteers the opportunity to be part of the global football showpiece event, which will take place across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain from December 6-16 2017.
The programme, one of the UAE’s biggest volunteering initiatives to date, is now live on www.volunteers.ae.
“Sport has a huge positive impact on individuals and society as whole. This is a unique opportunity for football enthusiasts across the world to gain invaluable skills and experience in the operations of a live sports event,” said His Excellency Aref Al Awani, the committee’s director.
“Volunteers are at the heart of the tournament and are key to the success of the event. I am optimistic that the programme will help participants develop their skills, meet like-minded people and understand how the world’s biggest tournaments are organised.”
The public can now apply to volunteer online. Registration is open to all until 10 October 2017 and all applicants must be 16 years old and above to be eligible to sign up. Over 1,000 volunteers will be involved in the football spectacle across various areas including marketing and communications, ticketing, hospitality, accreditation and operations.
The pinnacle of club football returns to Abu Dhabi, which hosted the 2009 and 2010 tournaments, where seven club champions will come together to claim the ultimate prize. A total of eight title-deciding matches will be played in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, and Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain.
To date four teams have qualified for this year’s edition of the competition: Auckland City of New Zealand (OFC Champions League winners), Pachuca of Mexico (CONCACAF Champions League winners), Real Madrid of Spain (UEFA Champions League winners) and UAE’s host team and Arabian Gulf League winner, Al Jazira. The winners of this year’s AFC Champions League, Copa Libertadores and CAF Champions League will be determined next month.
Former Portugal coach Paulo Bento and experienced ex-AC Milan tactician Alberto Zaccheroni have both registered interest in filling the vacant UAE post.
A three-man panel from the UAE Football Association are currently assessing options to replace Edgardo Bauza. The Argentine, 59, shockingly defected to World Cup 2018 qualifiers Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, after just three competitive ties.
Ex-Al Wahda and Mexico boss Javier Aguirre, Peru’s Ricardo Gareca and former-Germany and United States supremo Jurgen Klinsmann feature prominently in their thoughts. Yet this hasn’t stopped solicitations from elsewhere.
Bento, 48, boasts extensive international knowledge from his time in charge of Portugal from 2010-14 – a period which included a semi-final loss at Euro 2012 and group-stage exit at World Cup 2014. For 64-year-old Zaccheroni, he is available for work after a group-stage exit of his own with Japan at the global event three years ago and subsequent short spell at China’s Beijing Guoan.
Both candidates would accept a similar package to the $4 million deal agreed with Bauza and his staff in May up until the end of January 2019’s Asian Cup on home soil.
— Olympiacos FC (@olympiacos_org) August 11, 2016
This is substantially less than the €5m (Dh21.8m) per annum desired by the unattached Klinsmann.
Bento is also without an employer because of an acrimonious exit from Olympiacos.
The 35-times-capped ex-defensive midfielder was dismissed in March despite the club being seven points clear at the top of the Greek Superleague, plus making the last 16 of the Europa League and semi-finals of the Greek Football Cup.
This followed criticism by him about the mental strength displayed by members of his squad.
Prior to his Portugal stint, he lifted four major trophies at Sporting Lisbon from 2005-09.
Mandated representative DNN Sport has offered Zaccheroni to the UAE. His biggest achievements have been winning the 1998/99 Serie A crown with Milan and 2011 Asian Cup with Japan.