CUTRAL-CO - Argentine Football
Association President Julio Grondona was in national coach
Diego Maradona's sights on Wednesday when he complained about
the cancellation of a May 29 World Cup warm-up in Dubai.
"I have the bad news that (the friendly) is not on, but for
this one needs (another's) word," an angry Maradona told
reporters after his side of home-based players beat Haiti 4-0
in a friendly.
"I gave (my word) to the players we were going to Dubai on
the 26th after playing at River," he said, referring to a
warm-up match against Canada at the River Plate stadium on May
"From there we were travelling to Pretoria with our gear,
beef, sparring (juniors) and 40 guests requested by Grondona,"
he added of Argentina's plans for the trip to their World Cup
base in South Africa.
"When Grondona asked me to take 40 guests I told him that
no-one travels with the national team, but we were going to
make this exception and then I find out that the match in Dubai
is not on," an exasperated Maradona told reporters.
Maradona, who did not reveal who the guests were, said it
was important for Argentina to play the game against a local
selection in the United Arab Emirates.
"I want to talk to Julio (Grondona) because we need to play
a game on the 29th and get to Pretoria after that game... I
complied and now I expect him to comply."
Maradona admitted that he faced a difficult selection task
over the weekend before handing his provisional 30-man squad to
FIFA on Monday.
"I'm going to have one of the hottest weekends, it's going
to be tough because I'm going to have to look, make calls to
people I have in Europe, decide on players and start to create
the list of 30," he said.
At the South Africa finals starting on June 11, Argentina
face Nigeria, South Korea and Greece in Group B.
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