Maradona’s China visit fuels coaching rumorsBy ANI
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
BEIJING - Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona has signed on as an anchorman for a charity activity in Hefei, the capital of east China’s Anhui Province, fuelling rumors that he could consider becoming head coach of the country’s national team or a local club.
According to the China Daily, Maradona did not exactly kill off the rumors, telling the popular website Sina.com that Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua had not contacted him, but he would be willing to meet.
Spanish-language news agency, EFE, reported that Maradona would be open to the idea of coaching the national team, but Maradona’s spokeswoman in China, Tang Qinghui, said his visit was focused only on charity work.
“Maradona definitely has not met with any Chinese football clubs during this trip to talk about any offers or related matters,” Tang said.
During his visit, which ends tomorrow, Maradona expressed his bewilderment to China’s lack of football talent.
“In a country of 1.3 billion people, why isn’t there high-level national team,” he asked Chinese reporters.
The country’s notoriously scandal-plagued football federation has been riddled with violence, bribery and match-fixing, obstacles that had choked player development and kept the national team mired at 89 in the world rankings.
Maradona has been out of coaching since taking Argentina to the quarterfinals of this year’s World Cup in South Africa, ending a rocky spell in charge of the national team. (ANI)