Tuesday, 15th January, 2013

Sydney FC midfielder Ali Abbas has insisted there is no problem between himself and Alessandro Del Piero, despite the two rowing during Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Melbourne Heart.

Iraqi schemer Abbas had been brought off in the first half by coach Frank Farina and, annoyed at having been substituted before half time, refused to shake hands with his replacement Blake Powell, or any members of the Sydney coaching staff.

That infuriated the legendary Del Piero, who headed over to confront Abbas.

Del Piero delivered a verbal attack towards Abbas, prodding his finger at the midfielder, while as Sydney headed off for the half time break, goalkeeping coach Zeljko Kalac had to separate the pair.


The 26-year-old Iraq international has denied there being any problem between the two though and puts it down to the heat of the moment, insisting incidents such as that happen at teams across the world.

"I think it’s the same with any team anywhere in the world. Players have arguments and that’s life. What happened between me and Alessandro was just in the moment", he told Fairfax Media.

"He’s a great player, a great personality. Sometimes he just gets angry because he’s a winner and he wants to win, just like me. I think we have no problem now and everything is going to be fine.

"Something happened on the pitch [to trigger the argument]. Everyone is passionate about wanting to win, and like any player, I wanted to be on the field. I only wanted to help the team. I was disappointed I was taken off because I wanted to try and get the three points for Sydney.

"That’s why I was really angry. It’s happened, there is nothing we can do about that situation now. We have to move on, forget about it and think about next week."

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