No plans for Diego replacement

AFA president has no candidates in mind for managerial role

Last updated: 28th July 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

No plans for Diego replacement

Maradona: Argentina exit

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Argentinian Football Association president Julio Grondona says a shortlist is yet to be drawn up of potential candidates to succeed former national team manager Diego Maradona.

Maradona, who guided Argentina to the quarter-finals of the World Cup this summer, vacated the role after the AFA announced on Tuesday that he would not be having his contract renewed.

The former Argentina captain suggested he would step down from the post following the team's humiliating defeat to Germany in South Africa, but appeared to have reassessed the situation this week when he said he would stay on if he could retain his entire coaching staff.

However, the AFA was reluctant to meet that demand and decided not to hand the 1986 World Cup-winner a four-year deal.

Difficult

Grondona said: "It is difficult to agree. The hardest difference to agree on was changing some of Diego's staff.

"Nobody has been sacked. A contract has not been extended because the conditions were not suitable."

Grondona has suggested interim coach Sergio Batista, who led Argentina's Under-23 side to gold at the 2008 Olympics, could remain at the helm for some time with no candidates currently in the frame to take the full-time position.

"We have time to choose the technical staff," he said. "We have not thought about anybody yet.

"Batista is a member of the staff of this body so he will obviously fill the place as long as is needed."

Grondona admits he was saddened by Maradona's departure, and disappointed not to reach an agreement with the 49-year-old.

He said: "When you cannot agree with somebody you love, you are not happy at all.

"I always want to talk to him, but sometimes it is difficult because this is not the best moment."

Dislike

However, AFA general secretary Jose Luis Meiszner appeared to feel less remorse over the controversial manager's exit.

"I would be a hypocrite if I didn't admit there was a general disliking of several aspects of the cycle that ended with the World Cup," he told cable channel C5N.

"We did not see any intention to show humility, to say things should have been done better.

"There was no evaluation, no review, no conclusions. These are the things you have to think about in order to think about the future."