Jordan coach detained at Melbourne airport
Foreign Minister Bob Carr apologised yesterday after Jordan's national football coach Adnan Hamad was detained at Melbourne airport when he flew in for a crunch World Cup qualifier against Australia.
The Jordan Football Association expressed outrage after Hamad, an Iraqi, was held in a small room for four hours on his arrival on Wednesday along with other members of the delegation.
“Jordan Football Association strongly rejects the Australian authority’s actions in Melbourne airport on Wednesday regarding Adnan Hamad,” a statement said. JFA general secretary Khalil Al Salem demanded an official explanation from Australia, which is due to host the 2015 Asian Cup, and said he would contact FIFA about the matter.
He claimed all visas and entry procedures had been followed and there was no reason why Hamad should have been held. The Jordanian embassy in Australia intervened and the coach was eventually allowed into the country.
Carr, conscious that football is hugely popular in Jordan and Hamad is a well-known figure, sought to calm the situation. “Obviously, Mr Hamad being delayed caused an inconvenience and embarrassment," Carr’s spokesman told AFP, adding that he was not aware of why he was detained.
“As a matter of courtesy, the minister rang the Jordanian ambassador and said sorry for the inconvenience.” Australia's ambassador in Jordan also called the JFA to apologise, the spokesman added.