Maradona, the coach of Mexican second-division side Dorados, triggered the controversy by making a comment supporting Venezuela’s controversial political leader Nicoloas Maduro.
During a post-match press conference Sunday, following his club’s 3-2 win over Tampico Madero, Maradona said: “I want to dedicate this victory to Nicolas Maduro and all Venezuelans, who are suffering”. “These Yankees (the United States), the sheriffs of the world, think just because they have the world’s biggest bomb they can push us around. But no, not us.” Maradona is close to Maduro, the embattled leftist leader who has presided over a spiralling political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
The United States has led more than 50 countries in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s acting president, calling Maduro’s May re-election illegitimate.
Maradona, who has been close with a string of Latin American leftist leaders — once calling Cuba’s Fidel Castro a “second father” — went on to criticise U.S. President Donald Trump, comparing him to a blond-haired puppet named Chirolita who was popular on Argentine TV in the 1970s.
The Mexican Football Federation said in a statement its disciplinary committee had opened an investigation over the comments “for an alleged infraction of articles 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 of the FMF ethics code.” Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986, is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.