Local footie side Al Wasl have been quick to find a permanent replacement for manager Bruno Metsu, who continues to battle stomach cancer. The club have decided to stay French: in Guy Lacombe they have someone who was highly recommended by Metsu. Lacombe is a former PSG and Monaco coach and he also won a gold medal while playing for the French Olympic football side at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.
On a recent trip to the Emirates Melbourne Cup in Australia, it was good to see champion jockey Frankie Dettori ride for Godolphin, the Maktoum family’s stables, for what could be the last time. The Italian has been a massive part of the Dubai-based team for 18 years. Who can forget Dettori’s success at Ascot in 1996 with those seven wins, and at the Dubai World Cup in 2000? Sadly, though, another year has passed without a Melbourne Cup win for Godolphin and, with the team taking on Mickael Barzalona and Silvestre De Sousa as lead jockeys, Dettori has decided to go freelance and end his association with Godolphin. Having said that, as a freelancer there’s no reason he couldn’t ride for Godolphin again – though having competed for a rival stable, Coolmore in Paris, that looks unlikely.
Build-up to the Dubai Rugby Sevens, which kicks off on Thursday November 29, is well under way. This year’s event will welcome more teams and players than ever – not to mention Olympic gold medal-winning British cyclist Bradley Wiggins. He’ll be acting as a ‘waterboy’ for the Joining Jack side, set up by English former pro rugby player Andy Johnson to raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Fingers crossed that Wiggo recovers quickly from his recent cycling accident, in which he was knocked off his bike by a car while out riding in the UK. If only he still had those sizeable mutton chops to help cushion the fall.
Tom Bushell hosts Sport On 7 on City 7 TV (Mon 8pm) and is Arabian Radio Network’s head of sport.
And another thing…
The UAE national football team are on the rise. With new coach Mahdi Ali at the helm, the side have climbed the FIFA rankings. Now sitting in 109th place, the team have jumped ahead of Saudi Arabia, who are normally the highest-ranked team in the Middle East. Nice work, boys!