FIFA condemns Maradona comments

By Agency Published on Jul 05, 2018 02:58 PM IST

Moscow: FIFA condemned comments by Diego Maradona, after the Argentinian legend claimed that Colombia only lost to England in the World Cup last 16 because of the appointment of referee Mark Geiger for the match.

The 1986 World Cup winner said England's win was a monumental robbery after Gareth Southgate's men edged through a bad-tempered encounter on penalties on Tuesday.

"I apologise to all the Colombian people, but the players are not to blame -- here is a gentleman (FIFA referees boss Pierluigi Collina) who decides to choose a referee who, by googling him, can't be used for a match of this magnitude," Maradona told Venezuelan TV channel Telesur.

Maradona was at the match as a guest of FIFA and was pictured before the game wearing a Colombia shirt.

Football's world governing body responded, saying it was extremely sorry to read the comments from 'a players who has written the history of our game'.

"Following comments made by Diego Armando Maradona in relation to yesterday's round of 16 game, Colombia v England, FIFA strongly rebukes the criticism of the performance of the match officials which it considers to have been positive in a tough and highly emotional match," a FIFA spokesperson said in a statement.

"Furthermore, it also considers the additional comments and insinuations made as being entirely inappropriate and completely unfounded."

Colombian captain Radamel Falcao also criticised American official Geiger, calling his performance a disgrace.