Saudi Arabia’s national team coach Bert van Marwijk has spoken of his disbelief that his team only received clarification on Saturday that their World Cup qualifying game against Palestine would be moved and was going ahead on Monday.

  • By James Rowe

van marwijkIt has been a strange time lately for Bert Van Marwijk and his staff having refused to play the upcoming world cup qualifying match against Palestine after they felt their safety could not be guaranteed in Ramallah. The match has since been moved to Amman in Jordan.

Van Marwijk said on the situation, ”I am completely not used to this at all such a short period in which to prepare for an important game and it’s a shame that we received such late confirmation”.

”But I cannot change it so we will try to prepare as well as possible and we started training two days ago and we will do our best to play good football like we have done in our previous games”.

”I am manager of a football team so I will only concentrate on the game that is the most important thing. I try to prepare my team as best as I can. All the other elements such as destination of the game our down to FIFA and I cannot influence that in any way”.

”My players are not suffering stress but we know it will be a very difficult game that shows as when we played in Saudi Arabia we won 3-1 in extra time that says something about the strength of the Palestine’s. We analysed thoroughly the Palestinian national team so we know what we can expect. ”We respect them of course but we are also a good team and I trust my players”.

Having lead the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 2010. Bet Van Marwijk has received immense criticism from Dutch media and in particular Voetbal International’s Johan Derksen for taking the Saudi Arabia national team job and being motivated by money inolved in such a position. Van Marwijk’s last club was Hamburger SV in Germany. He flattered to deceive. He also turned down Southampton and Sporting Lisbon since leaving his post as Dutch national team manager in 2012. He anticipated that the big clubs would come calling for his services after the World Cup final but they did not. He is now trying to rebuild his career by helping Saudi Arabia reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

James Rowe (696 Posts)