The Saudi coach reveals a surprise: Three players refused to play for the national team The Saudi coach reveals a surprise: Three players refused to play for the national team

The Saudi coach reveals a surprise: Three players refused to play for the national team

The Saudi coach reveals a surprise: Three players refused to play for the national team

Italian Roberto Mancini, the coach of the Saudi national team, caused a huge surprise when he revealed that 3 players refused to participate with “Al-Akhdar” in the finals of the Asian Football Nations Cup “Qatar 2023”.

Mancini sparked controversy by excluding players Salman Al-Faraj and Sultan Al-Ghannam from the preliminary list of the Saudi national team to compete in the AFC Asian Cup finals, before he also excluded Nawaf Al-Aqidi, Al-Nasr goalkeeper, from the final list.

Mancini said in the press conference held today, Monday, dedicated to the match between Saudi Arabia and Oman scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, about the reason for the exclusion of the trio: “These players are the ones who decided not to play for the national team, not me.”

He added: “Al-Faraj, in the first camp, told me that he did not want to play friendly matches and Al-Ghanem told me that he was not happy playing for the national team... and Al-Aqidi went to the goalkeeping coach 3 days ago, and said that if he did not play a starting role, he would not want to stay in the camp.”

He continued: “Al-Ghanam and Al-Aqidi asked to play as starters, but I am the coach and the decision-maker. We asked the three players two or three times whether they would welcome joining the national team, and the answer was (no).”

The Italian coach added: “I am seeking to include players who want to represent their country’s teams, and I do not want to talk about the issue of Al-Faraj, Al-Ghanem and Al-Aqidi again.”

Mancini responded to the reason that might prompt some players to refuse to play with their country’s national team, saying: “I understand the desire of experienced players to play as starters with the national team, but I do not understand why a young player refuses to join the national team, as long as he is not guaranteed a starting place!”

He continued: “This is your country’s national team, not a social club. You represent your country here, and you should be happy. Al-Aqidi’s situation is strange, and I am facing it for the first time in my life. But I respect all positions, and I have other players on the list, and we will always find players who want to represent "Their country."

Regarding the reason why he did not explain Al-Aqidi’s exclusion from the list to team officials, Mancini explained: “I did not inform the team’s administrative staff, but I spoke frankly with the president of the federation, and I told him that the goalkeeper wanted to leave the camp, and that this was the third time he had refused to play... and it was not the right time to talk.” With other officials."

He continued: “We only have to think about the Oman match there is no time to think about other things.”

The Saudi national team is playing in Group 6 of the Asian Cup, which also includes Oman, Thailand and Kyrgyzstan.

 

Turkiye Another Israeli player is under investigation by his club

Turkiye Another Israeli player is under investigation by his club

The Turkish Basaksehir Football Club, on the outskirts of Istanbul, announced that it had begun a disciplinary investigation against its Israeli player, Edin Kartsev, due to a post on social media.

Basaksehir Club wrote on its account on the “X” website that Edin Kartsev “violated the club’s disciplinary instructions by posting on his personal account on social media in contradiction to the sensitivities of our country.”

The club did not specify the exact post in question.

But according to the official Turkish radio station "TRT Haber", the Israeli player reposted a photo from another account on the occasion of the 100th day since the Palestinian Hamas movement held hostages with the hashtag "BringThemHomeNow."

The Turkish club Antalyaspor had announced the exclusion of the other Israeli player, Sagiv Jehezkel, from the team, due to a move he made of a political nature.

The club explained, in a statement yesterday, Sunday, that the Israeli player “conducted an act that conflicts with the national values ​​of our country,” according to what was reported by the official Anatolia Agency.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz reported that his compatriot, player Sagiv Jehezkel, who was arrested after displaying a message supporting the hostages held by Hamas, will return to Israel on Monday.

It is noteworthy that Eden Kartsev joined the ranks of Basaksehir club in January 2023, according to the Turkish Football Federation.
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