# ‘I sacked Fernando’ – Tunku Ismail
# ‘No one is bigger than the club’ – Tunku Ismail
# ‘I knew Diaz will leave when Fernando was sacked’ – Tunku Ismail
Johor Darul Takzim’s fitness coach Fernando was the man behind the “quarrels between foreign players” and the coaches of the team, including Ulisses Morais, who quit the Southern Tigers in a huff on Sunday.
Club owner Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, who is also the Crown Prince of Johor, revealed, however, that the main reason the Portuguese head coach left the team is because his wife is undergoing a major surgery in Portugal.
In the same breath Tunku Ismail said that other coaches who had a tough time with Fernando were Bojan Hodak, Mario Gomez and Benjamin Mora. “All had quarrels with players (it turned to be Fernando was the instigator).
“Each time a new coach is brought in he usually brings along his own physiotherapist and a fitness trainer. This is where Fernando felt his job was under threat under the new coach. Fernando used his close relationships with the players to instigate them to go against the coach.
“This is what he did again…when Diaz and Morais had a big quarrel. It came to an extent when where the coach said he has lost the respect for the player.
“We gave Fernando a second chance but he did not seem to learn anything from that. The best was to sack him. I did tell my sporting director (Martin Hugo Prest) and technical director (Alistair Edwards) that Diaz will follow Fernando because they are very close.”
That was what happened. It was “midnight blues” for JDT when Diaz left the team at midnight during JDT’s transit in a hotel in Singapore on the eve of their departure to Vietnam for their Group H match in the AFC Cup competition against Song Lam Nghe An.
“You disturb the club’s harmony you are not welcome. Out you go. You screw up…that’s it. No one is bigger than the club. Diaz and Morais had not got along well since the pre-season,” added TMJ, as Major General Tunku Ismail is popularly known.
Diaz was the Golden Boot winner in 2016 with 18 goals. During his two stints with JDT the hot-shot scored 50 over goals in all competitions.
Both parties signed documents at the hotel in Singapore before going separate ways. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH