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Anorak | Maradona condones Colombia cheating; England love it

Maradona condones Colombia cheating; England love it

by | 5th, July 2018

You know you’re doing something right when you get up Diego Maradona’s nose. The Argentine operating as a FIFA ambassador, says England’s penalty shoot-out victory over Colombia is tantamount to theft. Maradona, who watched the match dressed in a Colombia shirt in a tribute to, well, it’s anyone’s guess, told TeleSUR: “I saw a monumental theft. I apologise to all the Colombian people, but they must know the players are not to blame. With all due respect, Pierluigi Collina, as the man who designates the referees, he is very bad. He must apologise to the Colombian people. It is the man who decides who the referee is who is to blame. A man like that [Geiger] should not be put in charge of a game of that magnitude.”

What should Mark Geiger, the American referee, be doing? Maradona has career advice: “The referee will know a lot about baseball, but he has no idea about football. The Colombian players asked for VAR and he did not give it to them. Twice, the English threw themselves to the ground and he did not admonish them. This was theft.”
 

THEM:

US:

 

He’s right about that. Harry Maguire dived in the box and Jordan Henderson went down hard holding his eyes when he was caught on the chin by Wílmar Barrios who should have been sent off. Maguire made the VAR sign, to draw attention to the Colombians’ physical approach as Henderson writhed in agony. No VAR was forthcoming, which was lucky for the Colombians. And as for England making a meal of things, well, isn’t that what every other team does? England is a team replete with divers.

But none of that matches the Colombians, who were a lesson in gamesmanship. Hulking Yerry Mina made out he’s been hit by little Raheem Sterling, Santiago Arias shoved his elbow into Kane’s shoulders. Colombians surrounded the ref when he rightly gave England a free kick. They roughed up the penalty spot and made Kane wait an age to take his spot kick given for a blatant foul on him – one Kane made the most of; just look at how he rolls his man:

 

 

England manager Gareth Southgate had a word: “Maybe we are getting a bit smarter, and maybe playing our game by the rules the rest of the world are playing. But we kept our dignity and our sportsmanship and if we were down it was because we were fouled. I am proud of the discipline. We kept our composure in a really difficult environment.” “We should not only look to Colombia but also England’s players,” said José Pékerman, the Colombia coach. “We were on the receiving end [too]. It’s been so obvious, too obvious.” Like that nastiness from John Stones on Radamel Falcao that more monocular sections of the British Press chose to ignore.

FIFA says Maradona’s comments are rubbish, stating: “Fifa strongly rebukes the criticism of the performance of the match officials which it considers to have been positive in a tough and highly emotional match.”

 

Good stuff. England roll on and the even better news is that Maradona is upset.

 



Posted: 5th, July 2018 | In: Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink