Should FIFA throw the book at Maradona for outburst?

November 12, 2009

Argentina coach Diego Maradona will appear in person before a disciplinary hearing at FIFA headquarters on Sunday to explain his foul-mouthed outbursts (plural) following the win over Uruguay in Montevideo last month.

The result, at the very end of an 18-match campaign, finally clinched Argentina’s place at the 2010 World Cup after they had looked in serious danger of missing out for the first time since 1970. Maradona “celebrated” with an expletive-laden tirade at the hapless touchline reporter who went to interview him.

If he had left it at that, he could perhaps have passed it off as a heat of the moment incident. Instead, he spewed out more obscenities — which he says were aimed at the media — at the post-match press conference, broadcast live on a number of networks in several countries.

FIFA quickly caught on and opened disciplinary proceedings for his unruly behaviour. These could result in a stadium ban which, if applied only to competitive games, would effectively rule him out of part or possibly all of Argentina’s World Cup campaign.

Maradona would basically be restricted to organising training sessions (which so far under his leadership have resembled playground kickabouts) and giving motivational speeches at the team hotel to his players.

Maradona said he was angry at non-stop criticism of his coaching and team selections, reports that he has fallen out with his coaching staff and suggestions that he is not up to the job.

The criticism came after he used more than 70 players and lost World Cup qualifiers to Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Ecuador.

The Clarin newspaper also pointed out that when he was on the sidelines, Maradona was perfectly happy to publicly slag off his predecessors Marcelo Bielsa, Jose Pekerman and Alfio Basile.

Some media say they are tired of Maradona giving exclusive interviews to a few hand-picked chums and ignoring the rest, with the added insult that, when he does give a press conference, it is invariably cancelled or delayed.

What should FIFA do? And, if he is banned, should Argentina look for someone else who could actually coach the team from the dugout?

PHOTO: Argentina coach Diego Maradona celebrates after his team won its 2010 World Cup qualifying match against Uruguay in Montevideo October 14, 2009. REUTERS/Andres Stapff


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Maradona = football.

You think people care what no-body Brian Homewood says about the legend. Just think again.

Posted by Diego Ahmadinajad | Report as abusive

Maradona’s a joke as a coach. Have you ever heard of only allowing practices in the afternoon so as to allow your coach to sleep until noon? Have your heard of a coach who parties until the wee hours of the morning? Argentina has too much talent to allow Maradona to stink it up. he was a very terrific player in his prime, no questions about it. But jeez, look at him now, he’s like a megalomaniac craving for attention

Posted by luis | Report as abusive

I agree wth luis – Diego Maradona has tarnished himself over and again. Look at the way he conducts himself. He is going to be remembered for his ridiculous behaviour, cocaine binges and rowdy tennis spectating than his one of a kind soccer talents.

Imagine if he conducted himself a little more humbly, in a gentleman fashion what an extraordinary ambassador he would be for the sport? Like say, a Pele.

Now there’s some class.

Posted by soccer jersey guy | Report as abusive

What’s up with that FIFA??? The Algerian player’s almost got killed and they were made to play the match and Egypt got off with a slap on the wrist and were just told to beef up the security!!! which did not happen by the way and Algerian fans have been injured and killed!!!!

Maradonna swears and you ban him for 2months????????? what a farce!!!!!

Posted by Algerian | Report as abusive

whats the point on our managers at u13 teaching us to play fair when henry cheats, from here on i will do what ever it takes to win, if it means cheating. from a 13 year old very annoyed boy. Henry is a cheat

Posted by irish fan | Report as abusive

If Maradona is a cheat, then he must be Henry’s south american brother. What a disgrace the Frenchman turned out to be. The only people I have less respect for are the fat cats in fifa who wanted france to qualify and got their wish( they didn’t miss the handball but they did rig the qualifying rules and draw). How can they go on about fair play and allow this travesty to go unpunished. If they can’t stop the cheats through referring then get the tv technology onto the job. Football lost more of its lustre tonight; when will the power brokers wake up to the fact?

Posted by James O’Malley | Report as abusive