Thursday, 5 July 2018

Maradona Begs For Forgiveness After FIFA Reprimanded Him Over 'Colombia Robbery' Comment

Diego Maradona, an Argentine legend, apologized for questioning the impartiality of the referee in charge of England's win over the 16 shots against Colombia.

Maradona found himself in hot water with FIFA because of his excesses over the US official Mark Geiger, when he described Tuesday the victory of England as an "armed robbery".

But after a strong reprimand from the governing body of football, the winner of the 1986 World Cup posted a mea culpa on Instagram.

"Taken by excitement and support for Colombia the other day, I said some things that, I admit, are unacceptable.

"My apologies to FIFA and its president (Gianni Infantino): even though sometimes my opinions are different from those of the referees, I have complete respect for their work."

He admitted that "although I sometimes have opinions contrary to those of referees, I have absolute respect for the work - not easy - that do (FIFA) and referees".

Maradona, who had come to support Colombia after the early elimination of Argentina, blamed Geiger for the loss of the South American side in a bad mood.

He told Venezuelan television channel Telesur: "I apologize to all Colombians, but the players are not to blame.

"Here is a gentleman (the FIFA referee's boss, Pierluigi Collina) who decides to choose a referee who, if he had googled, (he would know) can not be used for a match of this magnitude."

Geiger was suspended from international football for six months after several controversial decisions in a semi-final of the 2015 Gold Cup between Panama and Mexico.

Maradona had attended the Colombia-England match as a FIFA guest and had been photographed before the match in Moscow, wearing a Colombian jersey.

FIFA responded, saying it was "extremely sorry" to read the comments of a "player who wrote the story of our game".

He added: "In addition, he also considers that the additional comments and insinuations are totally inappropriate and completely unfounded".

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