Maradona fumes over warm-up cancellation
Posted on May 7, 2010, Friday
CUTRAL-CO, Argentina: Argentine Football Association President Julio Grondona was in national coach Diego Maradona’s sights on Wednesday when he complained about the cancellation of a May 29 World Cup warm-up in Dubai.
“I have the bad news that (the friendly) is not on, but for this one needs (another’s) word,” an angry Maradona told reporters after his side of home-based players beat Haiti 4-0 in a friendly.
“I gave (my word) to the players we were going to Dubai on the 26th after playing at River,” he said, referring to a warm-up match against Canada at the River Plate stadium on May 24.
“From there we were travelling to Pretoria with our gear, beef, sparring (juniors) and 40 guests requested by Grondona,” he added of Argentina’s plans for the trip to their World Cup base in South Africa.
“When Grondona asked me to take 40 guests I told him that no-one travels with the national team, but we were going to make this exception and then I find out that the match in Dubai is not on,” an exasperated Maradona told reporters.
Maradona, who did not reveal who the guests were, said it was important for Argentina to play the game against a local selection in the United Arab Emirates.
“I want to talk to Julio (Grondona) because we need to play a game on the 29th and get to Pretoria after that game… I complied and now I expect him to comply.”
Maradona admitted that he faced a difficult selection task over the weekend before handing his provisional 30-man squad to FIFA on Monday.
“I’m going to have one of the hottest weekends, it’s going to be tough because I’m going to have to look, make calls to people I have in Europe, decide on players and start to create the list of 30,” he said.
At the South Africa finals starting on June 11, Argentina face Nigeria, South Korea and Greece in Group B. — Reuters