This World Cup has captured the imagination unlike pretty much any other.
As a Newcastle fan, it has been perfect for me, an opportunity to switch off from any worries about next season/Ashley and just watch the football lying on the sofa at home or sitting in the pub.
No outstanding teams but plenty of decent ones, means pretty much every game hasn’t been a sure thing for any country.
Meanwhile, plenty of talking points on and off the pitch have also enhanced the tournament.
One of those talking points has been Diego Maradona.
I find it quite incredible how so many people in England still idolise him.
Yes he was a very good football player but for me he can never be seen as a great, unless you are talking about the greatest ever cheat.
He is an unrepentant cheat as well, having conned his way to beating England in 1986 on the way to an undeserved World Cup tournament victory.
It is cheats such as Diego Maradona who are the very best adverts for use of VAR, just how would 1986 have turned out if video assistance had been available back in the day?
The sense of outrage at the time as all of us watching at home/in the pub knew what had happened and simply nothing could be done about it.
No surprise either to see that Diego Maradona went full on in his support of even another country against England.
The cheat switching his affiliation to Colombia on Tuesday night.
How ironic that now Maradona is accusing England of cheating and conning the referee – especially on the penalty decision, insisting that the referees boss Pierluigi Collina should ‘apologise to the Columbian people’ after they were knocked out, having put a referee from the United States in charge.
Having watched the embarrassing behaviour of Colombia’s players as they committed yellow card offence after yellow card offence, as well as repeatedly trying to get England players booked, surely you would have to be under the influence of various substances to see things exactly the other way round…
Diego Maradona is reported to be paid $10,000 per each game he attends from Fifa as part of its ‘Legends’ ambassador programme, surely FIFA hold themselves up to ridicule if they continue doing that, paying a cheat who has no respect for the truth or the current players, managers and match officials.
“I screamed at Colombia’s equaliser as though I had been the one to head that ball because it’s not possible — you have to denounce this (England winning via the supposed bias of the referee).
“As the captain of legends, I have to tell (Fifa president) Infantino this cannot be left like this.
“This is a fatal mistake for a whole country.”
FIFA response to Diego Maradina:
“Following comments made by Diego Armando Maradona in relation to Tuesday’s round of 16 game, Colombia v England, Fifa strongly rebukes the criticism of the performance of the match officials which it considers to have been positive in a tough and highly emotional match.
“Furthermore, it also considers the additional comments and insinuations made as being entirely inappropriate and completely unfounded.
“At a time when Fifa is doing everything within its power to ensure principles of fair play, integrity and respect are at the forefront of this World Cup and how the organisation is now run, Fifa is extremely sorry to read such declarations from a player who has written the history of our game.”