Maradona to cheer Argentina from hotel after ‘jinx’ claim

2014-06-25 15:40

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Buenos Aires – Diego Maradona will root for his beloved Argentina from his hotel room when they play Nigeria today, opting to skip the stadium after Julio Grondona, the president of Argentina’s football association, suggested he had jinxed the team against Iran.

Grondona said Lionel Messi’s brilliant stoppage-time winner, which gave the South Americans a passage to the last 16 on Saturday, was thanks to “jinxed” Maradona leaving the stands.

The temperamental 1986 World Cup winner promptly shot back by showing Grondona the finger on live television.

Maradona struck a softer tone on Tuesday night during the De zurda soccer commentary programme broadcast on Venezuela’s Telesur and Argentine public television.

“I don’t want to be a problem for the government or for those who don’t want me to go. I’ll stay in the hotel watching on television,” Maradona said. “I would never wish ill upon Argentina.”

Maradona still stokes passions at home, where he is revered for his phenomenal career as a player, but draws fire for his chequered stint as national team coach, and foray into drugs and alcohol.

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