KUWAIT: Cash-rich Arabian football princes have come under fire for ignoring local coaches and splashing out huge sums on hiring foreign trainers on lucrative contracts.
The fears have been expressed here where the 16th Gulf Cup is taking place.
The tournament features the region's seven nations but not one is handled by a local coach.
Kuwait have Brazil's Paulo Carpegiani in charge while Bahrain are under the care of Croatia's Srecko Juricic.
Saudi Arabia are the responsibility of Dutchman Gerrard Van Der Lem, Oman have the Czech Republic's Milan Macala, the United Arab Emirates are coached by an Englishman while Qatar have hired Frenchman Philippe Troussier.
Even Yemen, the minnows of the region and playing in their first Gulf Cup, have looked abroad bringing in Serbian Milan Zivadinovic.
Fawzy Ibrahem, a coach in a Kuwait club football, said that the reliance on foreign trainers is not good for the future of the sport and called for a union to represent Arab coaches.
“The lack of a national coach in this Gulf Cup means there is a lack of confidence in their abilities,” Ibrahem told the Kuwait news agency.
Bahrain's former Gulf Cup player Fua'd Abu Shaqer also said that it was unfair for national coaches to be excluded.
“There is no faith in their capabilities,” he said. “There are some really good coaches who have proved they are up to the challenge and we should honour them, not abandon them.”
The Gulf Cup was on a rest day on Friday and action resumed yesterday with the UAE against Qatar and Bahrain facing Oman.
Defending champions Saudi Arabia currently lead the round-robin competition with seven points from three games. – AFP