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Maradona leaves Argentina

AFA axe Maradona after backroom team row

Last Updated: 28/07/10 1:29pm

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Maradona: Axed

Maradona: Axed

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Diego Maradona has been axed as Argentina coach after the Argentina Football Association decided not to renew his contract.

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The former Argentina captain's future as coach has been the subject of intense speculation ever since Argentina's elimination from the World Cup earlier this summer.

The 49-year-old 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 AFA have refused to meet Maradona's demands with federation president Julio Grondona looking to reshape the backroom team.

Maradona had been offered a new four-year deal, but after his refusal to change his coaching team the AFA board have decided not to renew his contract.

AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo said: "The president put some salient points to Maradona in their long conversation yesterday.

"And the executive committee unanimously resolved not to renew Maradona's contract as technical director of the national teams."

Maradona took charge of the national side in November 2008 and helped Argentina qualify for the World Cup after an indifferent qualifying campaign.

Argentina won all three of their group games in South Africa, but were humbled 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals.

Estudiantes coach Alejandro Sabella is the early favourite to succeed Maradona after steering his side to the Copa Libertadores last year.

Argentina will hope to have a new man in place ahead of next month's friendly with Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

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