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Maradona to legally recognise 3 children he has in Cuba – Lawyer

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Maradona, 58, now a technical director at Mexican club Dorados de Sinaloa, has five children from other relationships with different women.

Lawyer Matias Morla said that Maradona would travel to Cuba in the middle of the year and would do paternity tests.

“We are going to do the DNA tests. They are from different women and Diego will recognise them when he returns to Cuba,” Morla said.

He said he was in contact with the children. He did not identify them.

The lawyer said that the claims were going through the Cuban legal system, but that Maradona, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, planned to give the children his surname in the near future.

Maradona spent four years in Havana from 2000 to shake an addiction to drugs.

Cuba has strict penalties for drug possession and is known in the region for deploying doctors and humanitarian aid to countries in need.

During that time, he developed an unlikely friendship with Fidel Castro, including getting a tattoo of the late Cuban revolutionary’s face on his calf.

Castro would call on him early in the morning to talk about politics or sports and encourage him to push toward a full recovery.

However, with no press hounding him, Maradona enjoyed Havana’s night-life and frequented its best clubs.

After his marriage broke up, he was frequently seen with teenage Cuban women, sometimes one on each arm.

Morla has previously said that Maradona could have more children from his time in Cuba.

Foreign

Maradona fined in Mexico for supporting Maduro

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Former Argentina football star and current coach, Diego Maradona, has been fined for dedicating a victory of his team to Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, Mexican Football Federation said on Tuesday.

Maradona said on March 31 that he was dedicating the 3-2 victory of his second-division side, Dorados de Sinaloa, over Tampico to “Nicolas Maduro and all of Venezuela, who are suffering”.

The former star accused U.S. “Yankees” of trying to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

“Maradona will be sanctioned with an `economic fine’ for violating the federation’s ethical code,’’ the Mexican football governing body said in a statement.

The code requires him to remain politically neutral.

The federation did not say, however, how much the fine would amount to.

Maradona, 58, has had close relations with the Venezuelan government since the 1999 to 2013 rule of Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

In 2018, after a speech by Maduro at a campaign rally in the capital. Caracas, before the country’s controversial presidential elections, the hero of 1986 World Cup appeared on stage waving a Venezuelan flag and dancing.

Maduro, who was re-elected in the disputed election, has presided over an economic meltdown and a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

Maradona said recently that he may leave his job as Dorados coach.

Many in the sport, including football writers, players, and fans, regard him as the greatest football player of all time.

He was joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century with Pelé.

Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye and Olisa Ifeajika
(NAN)

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Maradona apologises for puffing cigar at World Cup match

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Diego Maradona late Saturday apologized for violating World Cup non-smoking rules by puffing a cigar during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland in Moscow.

The Argentina icon was seen with the cigar during the game at Spartak Stadium, and said he was unaware of the regulations as nerves got the better of him in a match where Lionel Messi missed a penalty.

“Today was a difficult day for the Argentines, with a lot of tension in our debut in the World Cup.

“Everyone has their way of feeling things. I honestly did not know that no one can smoke in the stadiums,” he said on Instagram.

“I apologise to everyone and the organisation. Come on Argentina, let’s support our guys, now more than ever!”

Smoking and vaping is prohibited inside all 12 World Cup stadiums at the tournament.

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Maradona sacked at UAE’s Fujairah SC

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Argentine football legend Diego Maradona was sacked at United Arab Emirates (UAE) first division club Fujairah SC on Friday, his lawyer Matias Morla confirmed on Saturday.

After Fujairah SC failed to gain automatic promotion to the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Friday, Maradona lost his job at the UAE league.

Fujairah SC had a 1-1 draw with Khorfakkan in their last domestic league match of the season, which meant that Maradona’s team landed third in the UAE table and therefore missed the chance of direct entry into the Arabian Gulf League, reported Dubai’s daily Sports 360 degrees.

However, Fujairah SC still has an opportunity to reach the AGL if they can beat AGL bottom club Hatta in a two-legged playoff next month scheduled on May 9 and May 13, according to the Abu Dhabi daily The National.

The 57-year-old Argentinean took over the UAE’s club in May 2017.

He also coached Dubai’s Al Wasl soccer club from May 2011 to July 2012. 

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Argentine FA suspends relegation for two years due to COVID-19

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Argentina declared its football season over on Monday and said there would be no relegation for two seasons because of the disruption caused by the new coronavirus outbreak.

“We are ending the tournaments,” Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, told a local news channel, adding that the decision would be ratified officially on Tuesday.

“The idea is to restart play but when authorities allow it and with maximum security.”

Argentina has reported 3,892 cases of COVID-19 and 192 dead, according to local figures.

On Saturday, President Alberto Fernandez extended the country’s mandatory nationwide quarantine period until May 10.

Tapia said promotion would continue but he did not clarify from which divisions.

Relegation, which is decided by a complicated calculus of points per game taken over a three-year period, will be suspended this season and next.

The decision means the Copa Superliga, a 24-team tournament scheduled to end in a playoff in May, has been cancelled.

Only one round of games had taken place when the lockdown began.

The first division championship was completed the first weekend of March.

The decision to suspend relegation will be welcomed by the bottom three clubs, one of whom, Gimnasia, is coached by Diego Maradona.

Maradona took over at Gimnasia in September 2019 when the La Plata club was bottom of the division.

Although their results have improved they were still destined to fall into the second tier.
OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Siasia, Akanni lament as COVID-19 stalls CAS hearing 

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A former Super Eagles Head Coach, Samson Siasia, is lamenting the postponement of his match-fixing allegation hearing, slated for Lausanne, Switzerland on March 19, due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

The disease, which is currently ravaging Europe, the U.S., Asia and other parts of the world has forced the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to postpone Siasia’s invitation to the European country indefinitely.

Speaking in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Thursday, Siasia described the postponement of his invitation as sad.

According to him, being well and healthy in these trying times is more important.

COVID-19, known also as coronavirus has struck the global community with Europe currently having the lion’s share of people killed so far by the virus.

It will be recalled that FIFA had handed a lifetime ban on Siasia, 52, in August, 2019 for alleged match-fixing.

Switzerland is currently on lockdown because of the disease and was listed among 13 countries whose citizens had been banned by the Federal Government from entering Nigeria.

“It is sad honestly but there is nothing anybody can do at this moment other than to pray that this virus disappears.

“Being alive is the most important thing, although being able to work is important but we have to stay alive first to make the money.”

Siasia, however, pleaded with CAS to grant him permission to continue coaching, pending when his case would be heard after the March 19 scheduled date for the hearing.

“I think it will be kind and fair of them if CAS will allow me to coach, pending when moving around will be safe again,’’ said Siasia.

In the same vein, Siasia’s associate, Waidi Akanni, who was also Siasia’s former team mate during their active days as footballers, urged CAS to allow Siasia to continue with his coaching career, pending a new date for the hearing.

“Nobody knows when the coronavirus will be eradicated, that’s like putting his life on hold. This is sad as it is but the only fair thing to do is to allow him coach until a new date is fixed.

“This is his life. Most likely the only thing he knows how to do. We can only appeal that he is given a soft-landing until the coronavirus thing blows away,’’ Akanni said.

Siasia was a 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner with the Super Eagles in Tunisia.

He also played in Nigeria’s maiden appearance at USA `94 World Cup, where he scored a goal against a Diego Maradona-led Albiceleste of Argentina.

The former striker played over 50 times for Nigeria, scoring 16 goals.

As a coach, he led Nigeria’s U-20 and U-23 sides to continental successes in 2005 and 2015, respectively.

He also guided the U-20s to a runner-up finish at the 2005 World Youth Championships (as it was then known) in the Netherlands.

Siasia is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha
(NAN)

 

 

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Raising 250,000 Euros for my CAS defence difficult, says Siasia

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Former Super Eagles Head Coach Samson Siasia lamented on Monday that raising some 250,000 Euros (about N83 million) to facilitate his appearance at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to defend his match-fixing allegation has proved difficult.

Siasia made the announcement in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos, ahead of the March 19 hearing at CAS in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It will be recalled that FIFA handed a lifetime ban on Siasia, 52, in August, 2019 for alleged match-fixing.

Following the ban, the two-time coach of the Super Eagles said that he would challenge FIFA’s verdict at CAS to prove his innocence.

“Banning me for match-fixing is a mistake. I really need people to hear my side of the story, that is why I’m crying to Nigerians to say look, let me defend myself.

“I have come a long way not to talk of messing things up at this level. My discussion and correspondence with that man called Wilson Teruma was all about a getting a job.

“It’s been very difficult. This is the only thing I know how to do. I started from a very early age and I have never done anything else, how do I get income without doing my job?

“The only thing I probably should be doing is being an ambassador to sports bets companies, but I cannot,’’ he said.

The hearing of Siasia’s appeal will come up on March 19 and the former coach would need a whopping 250,000 Euros to file his appeal at CAS.

He called on well-meaning Nigerians to come to his rescue and help him in whatever capacity they could to enable him file his appeal.

“ There is this stereotype about Nigerians. It’s like assuming that all Nigerian policemen are bad. Please I didn’t do this. Please do not leave me alone at this crucial time.

“There has being lots of positive response, but the amount of money I need to file for my appeal is not enough. I’d like to appreciate everyone that has been with me since it all began. Thank you.

“This will eventually pass. I love my country and I have given it my best.

“I wish this never happened to me, but I believe that at the end of the day I will be cleared of these allegations,’’ the former head coach stated.

Siasia was a 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner with the Super Eagles in Tunisia.

He also played in Nigeria’s maiden appearance at the USA `94 World Cup, where he scored a goal against a Diego Maradona-led Albiceleste of Argentina.

The former striker played over 50 times for Nigeria, scoring 16 goals.

As a coach he led Nigeria’s U-20 and U-23 sides to continental successes in 2005 and 2015, respectively.

He also guided the U-20s to a runner-up finish at the 2005 World Youth Championships (as it was then known) in the Netherlands.

Siasia is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha

 

 

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New signing Braithwaite vows not to wash Barca shirt after Messi embrace

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New FC Barcelona signing Martin Braithwaite had an ideal start to his career with the club by providing two assists in a 5-0 drubbing of Eibar on Saturday.

Now he has already decided how he wants to remember the occasion —- by never washing his shirt.

Lionel Messi was already on three goals when Braithwaite came off the bench two days after completing a surprise move from La Liga strugglers Leganes.

The Denmark international soon helped the Barca captain get his fourth goal.

The 28-year-old beat a defender before sending a diagonal pass towards Messi, who teased his way past Eibar’s goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic to make it 4-0 before congratulating his new team mate.

“I won’t wash my clothes after I hugged Messi.

“He congratulated me, he’s a great guy and tried to make me feel comfortable on the pitch by passing to me often.

“I am very happy to have given my first assist to Leo,” Braithwaite told reporters.

Braithwaite was not far from marking his first appearance for Barca with a goal in the final few minutes of the game.

He fired a shot at Dmitrovic which the goalkeeper parried into the feet of Arthur Melo who tapped into the empty net.

“I feel bad for not having scored, but Dmitrovic did very well.

“It was an extraordinary debut, a dream come true. When the coach called me to warm up I was a bit nervous but looking forward to getting on.

“I feel very good here, I am surrounded by fantastic players,” added Braithwaite.

(Edited By: Remi Koleoso and Olawale Alabi)

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Pogba facing “few weeks’’ out with latest ankle problems, Solskjaer says

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will be out of action “for a few weeks” after missing Wednesday’s match at Arsenal due to further problems with his ankle.

Club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “He’s injured. It is the same ankle. So, he will be out for a little while.’’

In separate comments to the club’s MUTV channel, Solskjaer said the French World Cup winner was “feeling some discomfort in his ankle.

“He will be out for a few weeks, definitely,” said the Norwegian.

Pogba, who has been linked frequently with a potential move away from Manchester United, has only featured eight times for them this season due to the injury.

The injury has kept him sidelined for three months.

The former Juventus midfielder returned to action as a substitute in Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat at Watford and also featured in their 4-1 win against Newcastle United on Dec. 26.

But he then did not travel to Burnley for the 2-0 win two days later at Turf Moor, although Solskjaer said he expected the 26-year-old to be in his squad at Arsenal.

Pogba’s future at Manchester United remains the subject of much transfer speculation, especially since recent comments from his agent Mino Raiola criticising the club.

“Now Pogba’s problem is Manchester (United),” Raiola told the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica.

“It is a club out of touch with reality, without a sports project.

“I will no longer take anyone there.

“They will even ruin (Diego) Maradona, Pele and (Paolo) Maldini. Paul needs a club and a squad, one like Juventus was before,” he said.

(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

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Pogba facing “few weeks’’ out with latest ankle problems, Solskjaer says

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will be out of action “for a few weeks” after missing Wednesday’s match at Arsenal due to further problems with his ankle.

Club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “He’s injured. It is the same ankle. So, he will be out for a little while.’’

In separate comments to the club’s MUTV channel, Solskjaer said the French World Cup winner was “feeling some discomfort in his ankle.

“He will be out for a few weeks, definitely,” said the Norwegian.

Pogba, who has been linked frequently with a potential move away from Manchester United, has only featured eight times for them this season due to the injury.

The injury has kept him sidelined for three months.

The former Juventus midfielder returned to action as a substitute in Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat at Watford and also featured in their 4-1 win against Newcastle United on Dec. 26.

But he then did not travel to Burnley for the 2-0 win two days later at Turf Moor, although Solskjaer said he expected the 26-year-old to be in his squad at Arsenal.

Pogba’s future at Manchester United remains the subject of much transfer speculation, especially since recent comments from his agent Mino Raiola criticising the club.

“Now Pogba’s problem is Manchester (United),” Raiola told the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica.

“It is a club out of touch with reality, without a sports project.

“I will no longer take anyone there.

“They will even ruin (Diego) Maradona, Pele and (Paolo) Maldini. Paul needs a club and a squad, one like Juventus was before,” he said.

(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

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