Bringing Diego Maradona to coach in Dubai was a calculated risk for the Al Wasl club.
People can be jailed for public drinking or even making rude gestures in the United Arab Emirates, making somebody with Maradona's history of drug and alcohol abuse and knack for courting controversy an odd choice for a coach.
''He does come with a checkered history and a very well publicized short fuse,'' said Carlo Nohra, who was chief executive of the UAE Pro League before taking the same job at the Al Ain club. ''Of course, the liability was that the media value would soon wear out and the fuse would blow for whatever reason. Then, he would leave and UAE football would be then back in the news for all the wrong reasons.''
Halfway through Maradona's two-year deal, the gamble appears to have paid off for Al Wasl.
The man who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup and is regarded among the greatest players ever is still in the desert, having avoided any scandal.
Maradona has tested his club's pa...