World football governing body, FIFA has rebuked Argentina legend Diego Maradona for his comments that England’s round-of-16 victory over Colombia was a robbery and that referee Mark Geiger was not up to the task.
The Argentinian, who is reportedly being paid £10,000-a-game to work as an ambassador at the World Cup, described the result on Tuesday as a ‘monumental theft’.
It is the third controversy involving Maradona at the Russia showpiece, which he has mostly attended as a VIP guest of FIFA.
He previously apologised for making an offensive gesture toward South Korean fans, and was filmed aggressively raising his middle fingers after Argentina scored a late winning goal against Nigeria.
“Following comments made by Diego Armando Maradona…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,” said FIFA in a statement.
“At a time when FIFA is doing everything within its power to ensure principles of fair play, integrity and respect are at the forefront of this World Cup and how the organisation is now run, FIFA is extremely sorry to read such declarations from a player who has written the history of our game.”
England won the match on penalties following 120 minutes of play with scoreline of 1-1. The set up a quarterfinal clash with Sweden.
The World Cup returns on Friday, when Uruguay face France in the first last-8 game, before hosts Russia will take on Croatia, as the race for the title continue.
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