Maradona’s future to be decided on Tuesday

Buenos Aires: Diego Maradona’s future as coach of Argentina will be decided at a meeting of football association bosses on Tuesday, a spokesman for the organisation has said.

Maradona met the head of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Julio Grondona, on Monday for more than two hours to determine whether he continue as coach following Argentina’s 4-0 defeat by Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals.

“They had a long meeting and analysed the current state of the team and his future,” AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo said on Monday.

“A decision will be taken tomorrow. I can’t say if an agreement was reached. The president has drafted a report and will present it to the AFA executive committee tomorrow.”

He added that the meeting would be held at 7:30 pm local time.

Maradona told local media on Sunday he wanted to stay as coach but only if he could keep control over the choice of his assistants.

“I want to continue. Whether I stay will be decided in the meeting I’ll have with Grondona ... and the outcome of that will depend on what he wants and whether he accepts what I ask of him,” Maradona told Argentine television in his first comments to local reporters since World Cup elimination.

“Continuing means taking charge and with the people I want,” Maradona added, alluding to media reports that the AFA would ask him to replace some members of his coaching team.

“There’s no way I’ll continue as coach of the national team if they want to take (Alejandro) Mancuso or (Hector) Enrique away from me ... or if they want to impose someone or other on me.”

Maradona, a World Cup winner as a player in 1986, has endured a patchy performance as coach of Argentina.

He defended his team’s performance in South Africa despite their painful exit.

“We didn’t deserve to finish that way, we had done good work,” he said.

Bureau Report

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