Maradona banned from World Cup draw: FIFA
FIFA has written to the Argentine football federation to make sure coach Diego Maradona stays away from Friday's World Cup draw (CBC, CBCSports.ca, noon ET).
FIFA has said Maradona's two-month suspension for an expletive-filled rant at a news conference extends beyond matches and also includes such activities as the draw.
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FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said Wednesday he sent a letter to the Argentine delegation to say "be aware that he is banned and we are asking you to make sure that he is not coming."
Maradona will miss Argentina's Dec. 16 friendly against the Czech Republic, but he avoided sanctions that would have kept him from coaching at the World Cup.
The coaches of the World Cup nations traditionally attend the draw, and FIFA had heard rumours that Maradona might somehow try to get entry to the proceedings, even as a media commentator.
"If Maradona appears now as a journalist for a media company, again, his accreditation will not be delivered by FIFA," Valcke said. "Maradona has been officially banned from all football activities. It is not just a ban for friendly matches or official matches. It is for all football activities.
"If he is asking for an accreditation, I can tell you - no way," Valcke said.
A FIFA disciplinary panel excluded him from soccer until Jan. 15.
"It is for two months only. He will be there for the World Cup," Valcke said.
The 1986 World Cup-winning captain launched his profane tirade at media critics after Argentina beat Uruguay 1-0 in its final qualifier last month in Montevideo.
Maradona is likely to return for a March 3 friendly against Germany in Munich.