BUENOS AIRES - Argentina coach Diego
Maradona could be banned for several matches and fined for an
obscenity-filled outburst at a news conference after Wednesday's
World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay.
"We're now opening a disciplinary case against the Argentine
coach and now it's up to the relevant party in FIFA - the FIFA
disciplinary committee - to enforce it," a FIFA spokesman said
He added that FIFA president Sepp Blatter, speaking in Cairo
at the World Youth Cup, had announced the governing body's
intention to open a disciplinary case against Maradona.
According to article 58 of FIFA's disciplinary code, the
sanction could be for a minimum of five matches, prohibit
Maradona stadium access for the duration of the suspension and
include a fine of at least 20,000 Swiss francs ($19,720).
Maradona, relieved at Argentina's last-gasp qualification
for the 2010 finals after a 1-0 win over Uruguay in Montevideo
on Wednesday, used bad language when he hit out at critics who
had questioned his coaching ability amid poor team performances.
His comments were broadcast live on several television
Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona told
the C5N cable TV channel: "On Tuesday we'll discuss this at the
executive committee's meeting and see what we do."
Maradona has been heavily criticised for defeats against
Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and Paraguay that took twice world
champions Argentina to the brink of failing to reach the World
Cup for the first time since 1970.
He has called up more than 70 players for 13 matches -
eight qualifiers and five friendlies - since he took charge a
year ago, and been questioned for his team selections.
Argentina got back on track with a dramatic 2-1 win over
Peru on Saturday when Martin Palermo, a surprise selection at
the age of 35 and having not played for Argentina for 10 years,
scored a last-gasp winner.
Maradona celebrated the victory in typically emotional style
by hugging members of his coaching staff and players, having
earlier dived in delight across the rain-sodden turf of the
River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires after the winning goal.
His equally emotive celebration at the end of the Uruguay
match, which sent Argentina to the finals in South Africa, took
a bad turn in the media conference with Maradona's foul language
in answer to some questions from Argentine reporters.
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