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Jordan coach Ray Wilkins backs Hayel after botched drugs test

The Jordan FA claimed Hayel was mistreated during a test after the 1-0 loss to Iraq in Brisbane on Monday

Published: Updated:

Jordan coach Ray Wilkins has told the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to focus on player welfare after a doping test for Ahmad Fayel was cancelled when the striker fell ill in the testing room.


The Jordan FA claimed Hayel was mistreated during a test after the 1-0 loss to Iraq in Brisbane on Monday, complaining to the governing body that he had arrived back at the team hotel “suffering from semi-coma, general weakness and hypothermia”.


The AFC defended its procedure but said its own doctor decided to cancel the test after Hayel experienced dizziness, nausea and vomited in the testing room.


Wilkins said Hayel would definitely miss Jordan’s second Group D match against Palestine in Melbourne on Friday and was a doubt for the third and final clash against Japan.


“I think the important thing, you must always put football in perspective,” former England international Wilkins told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.


“But people are more important. He lost so much fluid the other night when he played and we were very, very concerned as to his wellbeing. He is now okay.


“The great thing about when you have these situations with doping... you don’t only lose water (playing), you lose salts, you lose electrolytes and we must replace them after the game.


“As soon as they leave the pitch they have to go to doping, I can’t come in and speak to them. They’re down, they’re depressed. We lost the game against Iraq but I can’t speak to these guys because you take them off for doping.”


Wilkins said he had not received any response to the team’s complaint from the AFC. The governing body declined comment on the matter when contacted by Reuters.


“I’ve not spoken to anybody, which I expect,” the 58-year-old said. “It’s a big competition, they’ve got lots of things to consider but the most important thing in their consideration must be the person and not what’s going on here.”


Palestine also lost their opening game, a 4-0 thrashing by Japan, and both teams will be desperate for a win at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium to keep their quarter-final hopes alive.


“I’ve gained a lot of strength from our players,” Wilkins said. “If you could see how down they were (after Iraq), they care about what we do and that’s very, very important for me.”