Said & Done
The season so far: Maradona, Fifa 2.0 and a ban for being laconic
Quote of the week
Jorge Alberto Hank, hiring Diego Maradona to work for Dorados in Mexico’s drug cartel heartland. “During my conversations with him he’s been very excited to come here. Honestly, it was easier to convince him than I thought.”
► Also upbeat about the deal: Maradona’s agent Matias Morla – confident his client is fit to honour both the Dorados technical director job and the three- year contract he signed in July to run Dinamo Brest in Belarus. Morla says Maradona, filmed in Belarus last month sitting on the roof of a car showing fans his nipples ( below), is “ready to serve both
clubs … Diego is happy to lead.”
Also keeping busy
Gianni Infantino – renewing his Fifa 2.0 rebrand after a “best ever” summer, and visiting the Oval Offi ce. Among the on- camera banter in Washington last month: a) Infantino giving Trump a red card to “send off ” the fake news media; b) Infantino telling him: “You’re part of the Fifa team now.” Trump: “I like that. I like that”; plus c) Trump: “You’re pretty famous, right? Pretty important and pretty famous?” Infantino: “Yeah, it looks like it.” Trump: “Th e job you’ve done is really fantastic, Gianni. So thank you very much.”
Also pressing for a fair hearing this month:
1) Ex- Paraguay FA head Juan Ángel Napout – appealing after being jailed for nine years and made to forfeit racketeering gains of $ 3,374,025.88. Napout, who secured an apology in 2012 for “unfounded” smears when Olimpia president Marcelo Recanate called him an “embezzling filthy rat bastard”, denies all charges. 2) Ex- Brazil FA head José Maria Marin – appealing against his four- year sentence after Brooklyn federal court judge Pamela Chen ignored his “dramatic pleas” during sentencing – the 86- year- old shouting: “Christ carried a cross, I carry one too” while pointing at a rash on his leg. His key message to Chen about the $ 14m he made while running the FA: “Don’t take away my wife and family’s inheritance!”
3) Ex- Ghana FA head Kwesi Nyantakyi – contesting a new extension to his ethics ban after he was filmed putting a $ 65,000 cash “gift” into a bag in a hotel room. Th e ban comes a year after he was re- elected to the Fifa 2.0 council on a pledge to “make the winds of change blow”. He denies wrongdoing.
And 4) Ex- Dominican Republic FA head Osiris Guzmán, also contesting a ban extension, three years after he addressed Concacaf’s congress on falling press standards. Guzmán argued the media should show Fifa “more respect”, given that Sepp Blatter combined the virtues of some key figures from history: “Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela, Moses, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King.”
Other news: most wise
Uli Hoeness – Bayern president and € 28.5m tax evasion convict – advising PSG on ethics after director Antero Henrique’s failed eff orts to sign Jérôme Boateng. “A world- class club cannot have a figurehead like Henrique. Th at guy just doesn’t project the right image.”
2012: Boris Johnson ( left) negotiates a rent deal with West Ham: “It’s just a question of making sure that
the value of an asset which is a public asset and something that taxpayers put half a billion pounds into is properly refl ected in the commercial deal that is now being done with a private sector entity. People will understand that my job is to get the best possible deal for the taxpayer.”
2018: Stadium operators confirm the taxpayer now faces losses “for the next 97 years”.
France: Laval coach François Ciccolini – banned for five months for telling a reporter who asked about tactics: “You ask me bad questions.
I’m going to hurt you. Perhaps I’m going to hit your head on the ground.” Laval said Ciccolini ( right), who also told the journalist to “take your Dictaphone and insert it like a suppository”, had just been “speaking laconically”, due to the reporter’s “unprofessional approach”.
Manager news: best start
Billericay owner Glenn Tamplin ( above)– naming himself manager for a third spell having sacked himself in February, denying cocaine smears and looking to sell up due to critics “baiting me, baiting me, baiting me”. His pledge to fans about finding the right investors: “I will not let this club down.”
Also making fresh starts this season: a) Notts County chairman Alan Hardy, writing a pre- season address to fans on 3 August, calling for Kevin Nolan to be given time and space: “I hope and believe this can be a very special season and, with your support, it will be. One thing I would ask for, however, is patience. With so many new signings through the door, it’s only natural that there will be hiccups along the way.” His main message: “A league season is a marathon, not a sprint.”
26 August: Sacks him.
b) Bradford co- owner Edin Rahic, unveiling 32- year- old Michael Collins on 20 June, hailing their mutual “trust” and “bond”. “It’s not about the age, but about the football knowledge. We’re committed in what we are doing here. [ He] has freedom and will be protected 100%.” 3 Sep: Sacks him.
Romania: Arges manager Emil Sandoi – “feeling sad” to go viral last month after leaving his technical area to foul a winger. Sandoi, fined and banned last week, said: “I just lost my sense of self. I’ve seen the pictures, but I just don’t know how this came to pass.”
Bulgaria: Atanas Dzhambazki, coach of second- tier Kariana, refl ecting on his one- year ban for beating an assistant referee who got in his way while he was trying to beat the actual referee. “No excuses. But I hope referees will be more careful with decisions involving us in future. Th ere’s been a real bad trend lately.”
Nigeria: Former national coach Joe Erico – giving the FA an incentive to settle his long- running unpaid wages claim. “Back when it first happened I was very angry at the time, I was an angry person. So I went back home, stripped naked and put a hex on Nigeria football. But today I can say this: if they come round and pay me my money, all of this will go away.”
Plus: most relaxed
Paraguay: Second- tier Club Sporting 2 de Mayo coach Carlos Saguier, relaxed about global media interest after photos emerged of his “new assistant” – offi cial club dog Tesapara – leading training. “She just likes to show them the stretches. She has earned their respect.”