MOSCOW: FIFA says it “strongly rebukes” comments made by its ambassador Diego Maradona criticizing American referee Mark Geiger’s handling of England’s win against Colombia in the World Cup round of 16 on Tuesday.
It is the third controversy involving the Argentine at the World Cup, which he has mostly attended as a VIP guest of FIFA.
FIFA responded to Maradona telling Venezuelan broadcaster Telesur the outcome of the game was a “monumental theft.”
Maradona had been photographed before the game wearing a yellow Colombia jersey. England advanced to the quarterfinals in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in Moscow.
FIFA says Maradona’s “insinuations” were “entirely inappropriate and completely unfounded.”
“FIFA is extremely sorry to read such declarations from a player who has written the history of our game,” the world soccer body says in a statement.
Maradona previously apologized for making an offensive gesture toward South Korean fans, and was filmed aggressively raising his middle fingers after Argentina scored a late winning goal against Nigeria.