‘FIFA has not changed under Gianni Infantino presidency’ – Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona
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Diego Maradona has criticised FIFA president Gianni Infantino, saying the institution “hasn’t changed a bit” since the departure of Sepp Blatter.

Former FIFA president Blatter was banned from football for six years in 2015 by the world governing body’s own ethics committee for approving a £1.3m payment to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.

Former UEFA general secretary Infantino then replaced Blatter after winning the FIFA presidential election in 2016.

Maradona says he resigned from FIFA’s Legend’s programme due to recent mistreatment under Infantino’s watch.

 Gianni Infantino has been FIFA president since February 2016
Gianni Infantino has been FIFA president since February 2016

“I sent a letter to [FIFA president, Gianni] Infantino in which I resigned from (the post of) being captain of (FIFA) legends. Since [former FIFA president, Sepp] Blatter and [former Argentina Football Association president, Julio] Grondona left, FIFA hasn’t changed a bit. No change,” he said.

“They put us [in a hotel room] with (former Dutch player, Marco) van Basten and another player. And they treated us as if we were little dogs that only needed to be fed and that’s it. A total lack of respect.

“That’s why I resigned. And now, I will start revealing what I know about this new FIFA.”

Speaking at a news conference following his side Dorados de Sinaloa’s match against Atletico Zacatepec in the Copa MX, Maradona also challenged FIFA’s deputy general secretary Zvonimir Boban to a boxing fight.

FIFA's deputy general secretary Zvonimir Boban
FIFA’s deputy general secretary Zvonimir Boban

This follows an alleged misunderstanding between himself and the Croatian at the hotel where members of the FIFA Legends programme were staying.

He added: “Also, I would like to say to Boban that if he wants to look good, let’s go to a (boxing) ring. He shouldn’t have come to the hotel and got angry.

“The worst part is that Boban was sent by someone. And this someone is (Gianni) Infantino. I am not a 20-year-old kid, I am 58. It hurts me because I believed in these people. Now I don’t believe them anymore.” – Source: Skysports