Maradona eyes FIFA post

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

BUENOS AIRES — Ar­gen­tine leg­end Diego Maradona said on Mon­day he is eye­ing a FIFA vice pres­i­dency if Jor­da­nian Prince Ali bin al Hus­sein wins the pres­i­dency, vow­ing to “clean out” cor­rup­tion in world football.

The prince is vy­ing to suc­ceed Sepp Blat­ter as FIFA chief in new elec­tions, af­ter fail­ing to un­seat him in a vote on May 29 - only to have Blat­ter re­sign four days later amid sweep­ing US and Swiss in­ves­ti­ga­tions into cor­rup­tion at the heart of world football’s gov­ern­ing body.

“If Prince Ali wins, there’s a good chance I’ll be vice pres­i­dent of FIFA. If I get there, I’m go­ing to clean out all of them,” Maradona said in a tele­phone in­ter­view with Ar­gen­tine TV pro­gram “Show del Fut­bol.”

The out­spo­ken for­mer star, who has a long-stand­ing en­mity with Blat­ter dat­ing back to his play­ing days, said the FIFA supremo re­signed “be­cause he was afraid of the FBI and the Swiss po­lice.”

“He was afraid they were go­ing to take him out of FIFA in hand­cuffs,” he said.

Maradona said the prince had a good chance in the yet-to-be-sched­uled vote to re­place Blat­ter af­ter stag­ing the most com­pet­i­tive chal­lenge to his rule in years.

“That hadn’t hap­pened in a long time e be­cause FIFA bought the votes and said,, ‘Lunch is over, Blat­ter won. Have somee whisky, cham­pagne, what­ever you want,’” ” he said.

Maradona, who works as a sports pro- moter in Dubai, is cur­rently back in Ar­gen- tina vis­it­ing his ail­ing fa­ther, who is in a Buenos Aires hos­pi­tal.

In typ­i­cally brash style, the 1986 Worldd Cup cham­pion also lashed out at oth­err likely con­tenders for the FIFA pres­i­dency.

Michel Pla­tini, the French­man whoo heads Euro­pean football body UEFA, “has to clar­ify the 187 matches he rigged, which he told me about in Dubai,” he said.

As for Luis Figo, the re­tired Por­tugue­see star, Maradona said: “I re­spect him, butt his word is worth less than Zorro’s friend’s”” - a ref­er­ence to Bernardo, the masked hero’s mute ser­vant.

If given a post at FIFA, Maradona said he “would not go with a thirst for re­venge,” but to build football fields in needyy com­mu­ni­ties. — AFP

(Real Madrid) -

(Ar­se­nal)

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(Manch­ester

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