Argentina coach Diego Maradona went after World Cup referees on Friday, saying that Germany and Spain have benefited from “horrible” officiating to reach the quarterfinals.
Spain’s goal in the 1-0 win over Portugal in the round of 16 should have been ruled offside by Argentine referee Hector Baldassi, Maradona said. He also disputed the red card shown to Portugal defender Ricardo Costa and said “every contested situation went Spain’s way.”
“I’m a good friend of Baldassi, we talk all the time, but my impression is that the refereeing was horrible,” Maradona said.
“Baldassi was very bad. And the linesman was Andrea Bocelli,” he said, referring to the blind Italian tenor, who will perform at a concert to mark the end of the World Cup.
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Maradona also blasted Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda, who failed to award England an obvious goal in its 4-1 loss to Germany, Argentina’s next opponent.
“I don’t know if it was revenge or not, but England’s goal the other day was very clear,” Maradona said. “As it was also clear that the goal that the linesman gave England against Germany in ’66, it’s not that it hit the line, it hit outside (the line) altogether.”
England will keep Fabio Capello as national soccer coach despite the team’s disappointing performance at the World Cup. Following a 4-1 loss to Germany knocked out England, the Football Association said its board had unanimously agreed Capello deserved to keep his job. … FIFA will suspend Nigeria from world soccer unless the country’s government overturns its ban on the national team by Monday.