Maradona apologizes for accusing officials of match fixing

A day after ripping the referees in the controversial England-Colombia World Cup match, Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona apologized for his comments.

Maradona posted his apology on social media.

Here’s the translation of Maradona’s apology, via ESPN:

“I was overcome with the emotion of being a fan of Colombia the other day and I said a few things. I admit that a few of them were unacceptable. I apologise to FIFA and to its president. Even though I may frequently have differences of opinion over certain refereeing decisions, I have the utmost respect for the work that the referees and their institution do. It is certainly not easy.”

Maradona’s original comments occurred on Wednesday, after the England-Colombia match was decided on penalty kicks and marred by yellow cards and fouls. In an interview with Venezuelan TV station Telesur, Maradona accused the officials of fixing the match, and called the game “monumental theft” on the part of England.

FIFA wasn’t too thrilled by Maradona’s comments. In a statement, it called Maradona’s comments “entirely inappropriate and completely unfounded.” Maradona is a FIFA ambassador, and is at the World Cup as FIFA’s guest.

KAZAN, RUSSIA – JUNE 30: Former Argentina player and manager Diego Maradona looks on from the crowd during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between France and Argentina at Kazan Arena on June 30, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Maradona has certainly drawn attention to himself during this World Cup. He made a racist gesture toward South Korean fans, which he addressed on Facebook but did not apologize for. He was filmed raising two middle fingers after Argentina scored a goal against Nigeria. Later in that match, he was stumbling around, apparently drunk, and needed help leaving the stadium. That led to the false rumor that Maradona was dead, which he refuted by admitting he’d been drinking wine at the stadium.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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