Diego Maradona was in the eye of the storm after the football legend raised a question mark on the referees when England played against Colombia during the pre-quarters of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Brits won over Colombia by 3-4 during a penalty shootout. The Argentine legend while talking to a channel questioned the impartiality of the referee in charge and called England’s win as a monumental robbery. Venting out his frustration at US official Mark Geiger, Maradona said that he shouldn't be given a match of this magnitude. These comments did not go down well with FIFA and the body condemned Maradona for the comments. Now, the football legend has apologised to FIFA for the comments.
Diego Maradona took to social media and wrote, “Taken by the excitement of bloating for 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 arbitration decisions, I have absolute respect for the work - not easy - that the institution and the referees do.”
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.
Following Diego Maradona’s comments, FIFA issued a statement which read that they were, “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." The press note further read, “extremely sorry to read such declarations from a player who has written the history of our game."