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Maradona to stand for Fifa presidency

Diego Maradona has decided to stand as a candidate for the Fifa presidency to replace Sepp Blatter, the Uruguayan journalist and author Victor Hugo Morales has said.

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

Morales said that Maradona had told him of his intention when he called the former coach of the Argentina team to check on the condition of his sick father on Sunday.

“He told me he was going to run for president of Fifa and authorised me to inform,” Morales posted in Spanish on his Twitter feed. “‘I am a candidate’ were the two words Diego Maradona used to answer me when I consulted him about the nomination for the presidency of Fifa,” he added in another tweet.

Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, suggested this month that Maradona become the next Fifa president. The former Argentina captain, 54, has long been a trenchant critic of Blatter and last month said he was “enjoying” the corruption scandal that led the Swiss to announce he would stand down.

Like the Brazilian Zico, another great former player who has announced his candidacy, Maradona might struggle to get the support of federations from five countries, as required under Fifa statutes.

The Liberia Football Association chairman, Musa Bility, is the other candidate announced so far for a ballot likely to take place later this year or in early 2016.

Morales is famous around Latin America for his passionate commentary of Maradona’s wonder goal against England at the 1986 World Cup. Maradona led Argentina to their second World Cup triumph in that tournament.

The pair hosted a TV show together for the Venezuelan station, TeleSUR, during last year’s World Cup in Brazil. The Guardian