Jordan coach Adnan Hamad, who was detained at Melbourne Airport for four hours, watches his team train in Richmond. Picture: Ian Currie Source: Herald Sun
JORDAN coach Adnan Hamad has demanded an apology after claiming he was unfairly detained at Melbourne Airport ahead of his team’s World Cup qualifier against the Socceroos.
Football Federation Australia was forced to defend itself from accusations it had breached FIFA protocol by failing to have a representative meet the foreign team at Tullamarine where Hamad was detained for more than four hours on Wednesday.
The Jordan team, which takes on the Socceroos at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, said it was “deeply disappointed” to arrive in Australia under the circumstances.
Hamad told the Herald Sun he was held in a security room for more than four hours without being told why.
”I asked many times ‘why?’,” he said.
”Not one answer. Just ‘we check, we check’. I want to know what happened.”
He said he had no problems entering Australia when coach of the Iraqi team in 2008.
”This is the first time this has ever happened to me,” he said.
”I’m shocked. I’m a professional coach. Everyone around the world knows me.”
Hamad still managed to joke when asked why he thought he was detained.
”Maybe it’s because I always beat Australia?”
And he said when Customs quizzed him about what he did in 2004, he responded: ”I told (the security man) in 2004 we beat Australia in the quarter-final in Athens (Olympic Games).”
Jordan has vowed to take the matter further in a statement on its national federation’s website.
“The Jordanian football association will ask for official clarifications from the Australian Football association and notify the international federation, FIFA, on the matter,” it said.
Hamad, who held a valid Australian visa, was stopped by immigration officials and questioned despite the rest of his team clearing customs from a New Zealand flight the squad had taken after a short training camp.
Jordan Football Association General-Secretary Khalil Al-Salem said the squad was given no reason for its coach being detained nor an apology.
He also accused the FFA of being bad sports for not greeting his side and vowed to lodge a complaint with the governing body.
“It is not a sporting decision,” he said.
Team spokesman Loai Abbadi said the team was “very, very disappointed” by its treatment.
“It’s very bad for us,” he said.
“Australia is a good country and good people and we’re feeling comfortable here but this incident at the airport made us feel very bad.”
He said Jordan players waited outside the airport for two hours for their coach but eventually left without him.
A FFA source confirmed Australia had been ”verballed” by Jordan, who are locked in a battle with Australia for the second automatic qualifying spot in their group for automatic selection for Brazil 2014.
But the FFA released a statement denying it had not met Jordan at the airport, claiming two Australians met the team to assist their arrival.
“FFA regrets any inconvenience caused, but we make the point that the operations of Australian Customs are not a matter over which FFA has control,” said an FFA spokesman,” it said.
“We respect the right of Customs to carry out its lawful duties as it sees fit.”
Members of the Socceroos squad were temporarily delayed on arrival in Jordan earlier in the World Cup qualification process.
Herald Sun – 06 June 2013