VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A United Arab Emirates soccer player whose backheeled penalty in a friendly against Lebanon has become an Internet sensation, faces possible sanctions for being ''disrespectful.''
Video of Theyab Awana's goal in UAE's 7-2 victory Sunday has become popular on YouTube.
Awana approached the ball to kick what would be a typical penalty, but spun and hit past the goalkeeper with his right backheel. Awana struted away smiling and several Lebanese players angrily screamed at him.
UAE manager Esmaeel Rashed told The National newspaper the move was ''disrespectful'' and that Awana could be punished. A meeting is set for late Tuesday in which the team will decide what action to take against Awana, including a possible suspension or fine.
''This should have not happened,'' Rashed told the newspaper. ''I think what happened is disrespectful. We cannot accept anyone in our team who does not respect the opponent.''
UAE coach Srecko Katanec was visibly angered by the shot and took Awana out of the match soon afterward.
''We will resolve this inside our team and there will be no more talking about it,'' Katanec said. ''This is not respect, OK? I am unhappy. My reaction was normal. I took him out.''
Rashed has said Awana has apologized to the team for the shot.