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Maradona bitter about 'betrayal'

  • AP, Thursday, July 29, 2010 2:33 PM

Diego Maradona blasted Argentina soccer federation (AFA) president Julio Grondona and national team manager Carlos Bilardo (who coached him on Argentina's 1986 World Cup championship team) for plotting to get him fired as national team coach. "Grondona lied to me. Bilardo betrayed me," Maradona claimed.

Maradona said Grondona came up to him following Argentina's 4-0 loss to Germany in the quarterfinals of the World Cup and assured him in front of the team that his job was safe. "On our return to Argentina," Maradona added, "things started to take a bizarre twist and on Monday I met with Grondona."

Grondona told Maradona that he wanted him to continue, but that seven members of his technical staff could not stay. "When he told me this," Maradona said, "he was saying that he didn't want me to carry on in the job. He knows that it is impossible for me to stay without my assistants."

Grondona's response? "I never lied to Maradona." And Bilardo? "The AFA is a serious business, you can't invite your buddies to come to your place of work… Diego had everything that he wanted, he could turn up with whoever he wanted, up to the goalkeeping coach."

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