Why Diego Maradona should be thanking FIFA
Argentinean legend allowed to coach despite bad book keeping
If a person wishes to become a club director in English football, they must pass a Fit and Proper Persons Test, as stipulated by the FA. Following the decision that Diego Maradona will be put in charge of the Argentinean national side from December, the AFA must be thankful that FIFA do not impose guidelines of a similar nature. We are all aware of the former midfielder’s cheating, doping offences, mental health issues and battles with hard drugs, yet there are some other reasons why it is troubling for Diego and his Godly hand to represent Argentinean football at a managerial level.
Maradona may be extremely passionate about his country, yet he is not the greatest international diplomatist – the man who has tattoos of Castro and Che Guevara was quoted last year as saying: “I hate everything that comes from the United States. I hate it with all my strength.”
Of course, it’s not unusual to dislike America, but what’s more troubling is his disinterest in paying taxes. It was revealed this week that Maradona still owes the Italian government €36m, an outstanding tax bill from his seven years at Napoli. So far, he has paid back 0.11 per cent of what he owes, and has also surrendered ‘two luxury watches’ to the Italian treasury.
Despite his financial inconsistencies and unpredictable behaviour, Manchester Utd substitute Carlos Tevez and Leo Messi are both enthused by the news that Diego Maradona will be taking on the managerial role. It’s clear, however, that the recreational substance enthusiast has a big job on his hands: Argentina have won just one of their last seven World Cup Qualifiers, and lost a recent friendly to Chile.
P.S. Happy 48th Birthday Maradona!