Maradona Takes A Dig At Messi For Phone Call Snubs
Diego Maradona spoke to Radio Rivadavia to show his annoyance with Leo Messi at the Barcelona’s star’s refusal to take his calls.
While he also said he would try and get the player’s ban reduced by FIFA (from four games), he also displayed his displeasure with Messi’s playing ‘hard-to-get’.
“It’s easier to talk to [Argentina President] Mauricio Macri than to Messi,” said the 56-year-old. “I’ve called him many times regarding issues we’ve had in common but never got a reply.”
On the ban itself, he said: “Messi’s ban is excessive and terrible. Very shortly I will meet with Gianni Infantino in Bahrain and as usual, I will tell him what I think.”
“Four games is a lot and although his words were very strong, I think it can be changed. He is a teddy bear with his teammates, with everyone. You would have had to be inside the dressing room or at a training to know whether that is something reflexive, I don’t know. I would compare it to the head butt that [Zidane gave to [Marco] Materazzi.”
Messi’s four-match international ban is “not fair and does not abide by the rules”, according to the new president of the Argentine Football Association.
FIFA handed the Argentina captain the suspension on Tuesday, just hours before their defeat to Bolivia in World Cup qualifying, for verbally abusing an assistant referee against Chile last week.
His club Barcelona and national coach Edgardo Bauza have hit out at the punishment, with new AFA president Claudio Tapia, who was elected on Wednesday, saying the 29-year-old was banned because his federation had lost its influence at FIFA.
FIFA took over administration of the AFA after it fell into crisis following the death of Julio Grondona, who was president for 35 years until his death in 2014, with an interim commission assigned by the game’s governing body in mid-2016, but Tapia’s election has ended that arrangement.
Argentina are fifth in South American qualifying for the World Cup in Russia in 2018, with Messi’s ban set to see him miss four of his country’s last five qualifiers but they have said they will appeal their captain’s suspension.
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