Diego Maradona was once again in the news for wrong reasons during the Argentina vs Nigeria match at the FIFA World Cup 2018 on Tuesday.
As Lionel Messi and Marcos Rojo scored a goal each to carry Argentina through to the last 16, Maradona was spotted making obscene gestures towards the crowd at the St. Petersburg Stadium.
Maradona was captured by television cameras flicking his middle fingers towards the crowd and celebrating wildly as Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1. The winner came just minutes before the South Americans were staring at a group stage elimination from the finals.
The 57-year-old was also treated by paramedics and was taken to the hospital after he collapsed in his seat.
Maradona’s obscene gesture towards the Nigerian fans, which the TV captured, was slammed by one and all on social media.
From TV pundits to regular viewers, Diego Maradona faced the wrath for being disrespectful towards people and not being a “gracious winner”.
People expressed their views on social media saying it was hard to warm up to Argentina because of Maradona’s disgraceful acts.
Gary Lineker, who was doing punditry for BBC, said, “There’s Diego Maradona celebrating. I think there’s a danger he’s becoming a laughing stock I’m afraid.
“[He had] let himself down with that celebration. You understand how he’s euphoric, but this kind of reaction… really, Diego?”
Former England star Rio Ferdinand was also not impressed by Maradona.
“His career as a football player on the pitch was up there with the best, but unfortunately there are moments like this that do arrive. It is not nice to see that,” he said.
However, this was not the first time that the Argentina great has hogged the limelight for all wrong reasons.
Maradona was accused of making racist gesture towards the South Korean fans during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland on June 16.
According to broadcaster Jacqui Oatley, Maradona responded to South Korea fans calling his name.
Maradona “obliged with a smile, kiss and wave. Then pulled his eyes to the side in a clearly racist gesture,” he tweeted.
On Maradona’s Facebook account a message was posted early Sunday in Spanish, English and Italian seeking to explain the incident, which seemed to break FIFA anti-discrimination rules.
“I understand better than anyone that in the World Cup people are looking for news everywhere,” Maradona wrote, adding that he saw “an Asian boy wearing an Argentina T-shirt.”
“I, from afar, tried to tell them how nice it seemed to me that even the Asians cheer for us. And that’s all, guys, come on.”
Maradona also apologized on Facebook for smoking a cigar during that Saturday, despite a FIFA ban on smoking at World Cup stadiums.
“Everyone has their way of feeling things,” he wrote, citing tension at the game. “I honestly did not know that no one can smoke in the stadiums.”
News credit : Indiatoday