Diego Maradona, who this week accused his successor as Argentina coach Sergio Batista of accepting bribes, is also tainted by corruption, according to a claim made on Saturday.
Gabriel Buono, Maradona’s former private secretary, made the accusation, saying of his ex-boss, “He talks about bribes but, if you are looking for someone who is corrupt, the first person is Maradona…I’ve got all the evidence.”
Maradona caused a stir on Thursday when he alleged that Batista had taken bribes to include certain players in the national team.
Batista was sacked after July’s Copa-America flop on home soil having only replaced Maradona following the 2010 World Cup, which ended in a quarter-final thrashing byGermany.
He had already been in the Argentine coaching set-up before taking over from Maradona as coach of the senior side after leading the Olympic squad to glory at the 2008 Games.
Batista responded by threatening legal action against Maradona, now coach of UAE club Al Wasl, for telling TyC Sports broadcaster that “after we (Maradona and his entourage) took over the team, there was an end to bribes”.
Maradona suggested that certain arrangements had been in place to give certain players guarantees before he stamped out the practice.
Batista strongly rejected Maradona’s allegations and said he would take legal action to counter Maradona’s “falsehoods which are a product of resentment” at being ousted as national coach.
by Buford Balony