What else is new? Once again, Argentine football legend and 1986 World Cup winner, Diego Maradona, finds himself immersed in controversy after speaking at a recent post-match press conference for his current team, Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico’s Ascenso MX.
After a league game against Tampico Madero on March 31, in which Dorados won 3-2, Maradona dedicated the victory to Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro.
Maradona also criticized the U.S. government’s involvement in Venezuela in the quote.
“I want to dedicate the win to Nicolas Maduro and to all of Venezuela which is suffering right now, because the ‘sheriffs’ of the world, which are the yankees (U.S. government), they think they can lead us ahead.” - Diego Maradona
He went on to criticize American president Donald Trump
“We are not fooled by that tyrant that (the Americans) have as president.”
The Dorados coach was fined an unspecified amount of money for “infringing on the code of ethics, which requires political neutrality”, according to an FMF press release.
The country of Venezuela currently finds itself in the midst of a political, social and economic crisis that many blame Maduro for.
Citizens have protested, sometimes violently, for months to enact a change in government, or in response to water shortages and country-wide rolling blackouts.
Maduro began his presidency in 2013, not long after the death of his mentor and the man many blame to have started Venezuela’s freefall, Hugo Chavez.
He was re-elected in May 2018 after highly controversial elections but his reelection was not recognised by Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly.
For that reason, and backed by articles from Venezuela’s constitution, the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, declared himself acting president on Jan. 23, a role that has been officially recognised by Trump himself.
Maduro and his supporters, like Maradona, blame American intervention for Venezuela’s problems and claim that the U.S. is behind attempts to drive him from office.
Maduro broke off relations with the US and gave US diplomats 72 hours to leave Venezuela in the beginning of the year.
Maradona has long been an ally to Maduro’s United Socialist Party going all the way back to Chavez’s presidency and has advocated for Maduro for years.
During the last Venezuelan elections, Maradona appeared in a rally in support of Maduro, an act he is no stranger to.
Although his hire propelled the Culiacan-based team from one of the worst teams in the league all the way to an Ascenso MX final (a match they lost to Atletico San Luis) last season, the headlines Maradona’s made haven’t always been positive.
After said final took place last December, Maradona nearly got into a fight with several San Luis fans, who provoked the coach with taunts.
Most recently, the former Barcelona and Napoli forward threatened to quit and leave football altogether after he claimed the officials didn’t call a penalty for Dorados in their 1-1 draw with Venados on April 5.
That would’ve been a valuable three points for Dorados, who are in danger of missing the playoffs if they receive a negative result this Friday against, guess who, Atletico San Luis.
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