Diego Maradona has apologised to FIFA for his comments in the wake of England’s last 16 victory over Colombia.
After declaring his staunch allegiance to Los Cafeteros before kick-off, the Argentinian legend was left to decry a “monumental robbery” when England eventually emerged victorious on penalties in Moscow.
Maradona also lambasted American referee Mark Geiger, saying he should stick to baseball, before hinting that the whole game was rigged in England’s favour.
However, after calming down, the 57-year-old has since backtracked somewhat, but only after being told by FIFA to watch his language, with the governing body issuing a “strong rebuke” to Maradona’s outburst.
Since then, the man himself has emitted an Instagram post to say sorry…
Tomado por la emoción de hinchar por Colombia el otro día, yo dije un par de cosas y, admito, algunas de ellas son inaceptables. Mis disculpas a la FIFA y a su presidente: por mucho que a veces yo pueda tener opiniones contrarias a algunas decisiones arbitrales, tengo absoluto respeto por el trabajo – nada fácil – que hacen la institución y los árbitros.
The post reads thus:
Taken by the excitement of supporting Colombia the other day, I said a couple of things and, I admit, some of them are unacceptable. My apologies to FIFA and its president.
As much as I may sometimes have opinions contrary to some refereeing decisions, I have absolute respect for the work – not easy – that the institution and what the referees do.
Given that FIFA are reportedly paying Maradona £10,000 per game to attend World Cup matches as their ambassador, it’s hardly surprising that he’s come over all contrite all of a sudden.