Nawaf bin Bandar Al-Temyat, Vice Chairman of the Saudi Football Federation and Head of the World Cup Preparation Team expressed his complete dissatisfaction with the technical level of the national team players in the opening match held yesterday evening against Russia.
In a statement following today’s training, Al-Temyat said that the team was strongly prepared during the past period and played strong friendly matches. However, the players’ tension and concern following the first goal is not justified.
“We spoke to the players when we arrived to our headquarters is St. Petersburg and everyone feels sorry and responsible. The most important thing now is to move on and recover from the first loss before the second game”, Al-Temyat continued.
Al-Temyat further stressed on the importance of correcting the situation now and within the next 48 hours, and indicated that Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi is working on this and has certainly held a meeting today with the players during which he explained the mistakes committed by the players.
“We now have four days to double the efforts and play honorably against the Uruguay”, Al-Temyat added.
Vice Chairman of the Saudi Football Federation said that the statement of Adel Ezzat, Chairman of the Federation, was not transmitted accurately as the statements were limited to three players, as clarified in the press release that was issued yesterday.
Al-Temyat further stated that everyone is responsible for the loss: “We were being praised in the previous stages but we have to assume responsibility now. Criticism is part of football and everyone is responsible”.
“The error margin in the World Cup should be narrow. Following the first goal, the players were confused and lacked concentration, and this was a major factor for our loss. We must now work on how to play better in the second match", Al-Temyat continued.
Al-Temyat made reference to the role of the psychological expert to assist the team in the coming period and stated the expert has and will work in the coming period to increase the players’ morale and help them overcome yesterday's loss.
He added: “I am positive the Saudi fans are looking for a strong performance as evidenced by the friendly matches we honorably lost. Despite the loss, everyone was happy”.
Al-Temyat added: “Crisis management is set up. The Coach assumed full technical responsibility. Work is being done and discussions and meetings are held privately”. Al-Temyat also asked everyone to forget the past and think about how to fix things in the coming matches. He further added that Coach Juan Pizzi will focus on the technical aspect in the second match and will choose the appropriate players against the Uruguay.
Al-Temyat expressed his embarrassment and that of the entire team following the statement of His Excellency Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al-Sheikh, Chairman of the General Sport Authority and Chairman of the Saudi Olympic Committee, following the end of the match. He confirmed that all the necessary efforts and support have been exerted for the team to play honorably.
He continued: “I know the plans and programs that were put in place by His Excellency for the future. I am aware of the details but now is not the time to discuss this. I, personally, and the Federation Chairman assume full responsibility, and we respect and appreciate the protection of his Excellency the Advisor.
Al-Temyat further stated that the media abuse by one of the channels is unacceptable and considered that mixing politics and sports is also unacceptable. There are legal matters which the Federation will consider within the next two days to preserve the rights of the national team.
“We all know who voted against Morocco in 2006 and 2010. Can the hosting file be compared with the main issue of the Arabs and the Muslims? I think the abuse of this channels is inappropriate, but as I said, there are legal matters that will be taken within the next two days”, Al-Temyat added.