BERLIN: Football legend Diego Maradona has slammed the Argentine Football Association (AFA) by accusing those in charge of “understanding as much about football as Pakistan does.”
The 53-year-old won the 1986 World Cup with Argentina and coached the South Americans at South Africa 2010, where they crashed out with a 4-0 defeat to Germany in the quarterfinals.
A football icon, Maradona won league titles in Spain, Italy and Argentina, but has never transferred his playing success to coaching.
In the wake of the failed World Cup bid four years ago, Maradona publically fell out with AFA president Julio Grondona and the national team’s director Carlos Bilardo, accusing the pair of sacking him.
Four years on, Maradona has not forgiven the AFA and hit out at his former employers, comparing them to the Pakistan Football Federation, who are ranked 158th in the world.
“The AFA has played dirty tricks on me. I should have also been the Argentina coach at the World Cup (at Brazil 2014). But the current leaders of the association understand as much about football as Pakistan does,” Maradona told Sport Bild.
“They don’t have a clue at all. To clarify: There are certainly many good things in Pakistan, but I have never seen them play a World Cup final. I say: The current association leaders in Argentina are the same as Pakistan.”
Argentina starts their World Cup campaign against Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 15 and also faces Nigeria and Iran in Group F.