Maradona set to learn fate

Coach awaits results of talks with Argentina FA president

Last updated: 26th July 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Maradona set to learn fate

Maradona: Future to be decided

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Diego Maradona's future as Argentina coach remains undecided following a 'tense' meeting with federation president Julio Grondona.

Grondona is due to discuss the details of Monday's meeting with his board before they decide whether Maradona will continue at the helm.

The legendary figure suggested he would step down following the World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Germany in South Africa this summer.

But he has since admitted he would be prepared to stay on, provided he can retain his full backroom staff, which may prove to be a sticking point.

The 49-year-old met with Grondona in Ezeiza - a city close to Buenos Aires - , and the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) president will discuss the matter with board members on Tuesday night.

Discussed

AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo told Radio La Red: "Maradona told the AFA president his thoughts about the present and future and what he was expecting regarding his staff. The president's idea was the opposite and they discussed about that.

"After both parties expressed their own points of view, Grondona told Maradona that he was going to communicate his requirements to the members' executive committee in tomorrow's meeting and, according to the decision they make, then they were going to meet again.

"The meeting went through different moments. Some of them were kind, some others tense, but talking about football always.

"Only Maradona and Grondona attended the meeting. Gossip and speculation by the media are just theories and hypothesis and I cannot say anything about that.

"The executive committee will be given a spoken review of the meeting by Grondona and, according to what he reports, the committee will make a decision or they could even delay it."

Reports suggest Grondona wants the 1986 World Cup winner to pen a new four-year deal, but one of Maradona's assistants, former Argentina defender Oscar Ruggeri, has been criticised by the AFA chief in the wake of the team's World Cup exit.

No plan B

Argentina's next game is a friendly against Ireland on 11th August in Dublin, and the squad is due to be announced on Tuesday.

If Maradona departs, the Albicelestes will be coached by current Under-20 boss Sergio Batista, who took Argentina's Under-23 side to gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Cherquis Bialo claims the AFA do not yet have a shortlist in place to succeed Maradona on a permanent basis.

He added: "The AFA have no plan B. The body would not meet Maradona if they had had a plan B. We do have solutions in case of emergencies such as the squad announcement.

"The squad will be named and a coach will be sat on the bench if Maradona is told not to continue."

Argentina struggled to qualify for the World Cup after Maradona took over from previous coach Alfio Basile, but thrilled at times in South Africa before their campaign came to an end with a 4-0 defeat to Germany in the last eight.

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