By Adeboye Amosu
Argentina legend Diego Maradona has issued a public apology to FIFA and president Gianni Infantino for inflammatory comments made following England’s victory over Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday.
England advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition courtesy of a 4-3 penalty shootout victory that followed a combative 1-1 draw in Moscow, with many of the post-match headlines focused on Maradona’s rant.
Maradona said after the game that the Three Lions win was a monumental theft and also criticised centre referee Mark Geiger for his performance.
He also stated that FIFA referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina should apologise to the Colombian people.
FIFA in a statement released on Wednesday night slammed the former Argentina captain and said his insinuations were entirely inappropriate and completely unfounded.
He took to Instagram on Thursday to make amends and admitted that he had said some ‘unacceptable things’ in the excitement of rooting for Colombia, in whose shirt he was pictured before the match.
‘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,’ he said.