Maradona 'not eligible to attend' draw

FIFA will not allow Argentina football coach Diego Maradona to attend Friday's World Cup draw in Cape Town - even if he ignores his two-month ban.

Fifa spokeswoman Delia Fischer said it was not aware of Maradona's plans to attend the draw. "He is not on any of the delegation lists, and he is not eligible to attend."

She said that during his ban he was not recognised as Argentina's coach. While she would not be drawn on what would be done to stop him attending, Fischer insisted he would not be present.

The coaches from the other 31 countries in the tournament are expected to attend the draw at Cape Town International Convention Centre.

It has been reported that the 49-year-old soccer legend is planning to travel to Cape Town and is in talks with several TV companies to broadcast the draw live to Argentina.

Maradona's ban started on November 15 following a lewd outburst during Argentina's World Cup qualifying game against Uruguay last month.

The ban stipulates that he may not coach his team, join them at training sessions, or attend the World Cup draw or participate in any football activities. Fifa conceded that there was nothing stopping Maradona from travelling to South Africa like any other tourist.

Although Maradona will not officially be part of the Argentina delegation, it is widely speculated that he won't be far from them during their stay in Cape Town.

As a player, Maradona took part in four World Cups and led Argentina to victory in the 1986 tournament and to the final in 1990, where they lost to West Germany.


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