Football is a common language: Al Sadd coachd

AFP, Thursday 8 Dec 2011

The Uruguayan coach of Asian champions Al Sadd said Thursday that he had no problem getting his message across to his men after a press conference held in Arabic, English, French, Japanese and Spanish

Jorge Fossati
Uruguayan coach of Asian champions Al Sadd Jorge Fossati

Jorge Fossati made the comments—in English and Spanish—shortly after the Qatari side landed in Japan for the Club World Cup, where his team face the African champions Esperance on Sunday, with a clash against Barcelona at stake.

Fossati was flanked at the media briefing in Nagoya by two of his players, one of whom, the Algerian international Nadir Belhadj, spoke in French, as a small army of translators sat primed for action.

Al Sadd's squad is packed with Qatar internationals as well as players from South Korea, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Brazil, with Belhadj the lone Algerian.

"I speak some English," the former Uruguay and Qatar coach, 59, said in English when asked by AFP if his team of mainly Arabic, English and French speakers could understand his instructions.

"I don't want an interpreter (in the changing room)," he said, switching back to his first language, Spanish.

"The players understand my English, although some can't. But football is a common language.

"I don't want an interpreter because he might not correctly translate what I'm saying or won't understand the language of football."

Fossati, whose side earned a berth at the intercontinental tournament after claiming the AFC Champions League on penalties last month, admitted landing in Japan just days before the clash with the Tunisians was not ideal preparation.

But he said there would be no excuses come matchday.

"Our players have gone through a lot of difficult experiences like this before in the Asian champions league and when we won the final in South Korea," he said.

"We don't lack preparation but it's true the match will be difficult for us, but we will be difficult opponents for them too.

"Of course the jet lag is a burden and our timing is not ideal, but we will use past experience to overcome this."

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