Even though Diego Maradona was sacked as Argentina's manager after taking them to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup, it was a certainty that with this World Cup taking place in Brazil, he would make his cyclone-like presence known. He tried to do just that at Argentina's opening match against Bosnia and Herzegovina, but he claims FIFA wouldn't let him enter the stadium due to "ill-will."
Just before the tournament began, Maradona said that FIFA is "ugly and people need to know it" on a new TV show he co-hosts in Venezuela. And now he believes that this is why he was prevented from entering the Maracana.
From the Guardian:
“I was not allowed to go in to the game,” he told the Argentinian channel TyC Sports. “So I had to return to the hotel to see the second half. I did everything I could but they would not let us in.
“Someone just said no, it could not happen, so I had to watch it on TV. Hopefully we will get this resolved because I want to go and see Argentina in several more games.
“It is one thing to not be able to go to a game, and another to not be allowed to go. When there is goodwill, you’re allowed in but when there is ill will, it’s better to forget it and head back to the hotel, which it’s what we did.”
Though FIFA is not above petty squabbles, Maradona taking shots at the governing body is nothing new. So, as most people do in response to just about everything Maradona says, simply ignoring him would seem more likely than going to the lengths of barring him from World Cup stadiums. And their brilliant statement in response to his accusation appears to support that.
"We are not aware that he was not allowed in to the Maracana," FIFA told the press. "Perhaps he just tried the wrong door."
And here's Maradona as an armchair in a truly bizarre commercial...
- - - - - - -