08.20.07

Touched By The Hand Of Fraud : Maradona As Chávez’ Political Football

Posted in Football, politics at 8:12 am by

Thought it is hard to imagine many good things about a chat show hosted by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, I’m gonna take a wild guess that he’s every bit as qualified for the gig as Alan Thicke or Rick Dees.  From the Guardian’s Roy Carroll (link courtesy I’m Sorry I Had To Kill That Guy) :

Diego Maradona taunted England over his “hand of God” goal yesterday, on a television show hosted by Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez. The Argentine footballer told a cheering audience in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, that he cheated in the 1986 World Cup quarter final and had urged his team-mates to cheer the strike into the English net to fool the referee into awarding the goal.

Peter Shilton, the England goalkeeper, was very tall and Maradona could not reach the ball with his head, he said. “The goalkeeper had the advantage of grabbing with his hands. It was too high for me and I stuck out my fist.”

Looking healthy after serious illness linked to cocaine addiction, the 46-year-old was a surprise guest of “Hello President”, a Sunday talkshow hosted by Mr Chávez which lasts much of the day.

The Venezuelan leader welcomed the footballer as Argentina’s “golden boy” and an ally in the fight against imperialism. He invited him to reminisce about the goal which broke English hearts and cheered much of Latin America.

Later in the programme Maradona earned thunderous applause when he said he loathed everything that came from the US. “I hate it with all my strength.” He pledged allegiance to his host and to Cuba’s Fidel Castro, who has arranged treatment in Havana for his addictions.

“I believe in Chávez, I am Chávista. Everything Fidel does, everything Chávez does, for me is the best.”

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