Argentinians Drop Maradona After Talks
Wednesday, 28th July 2010 at 09:11am
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona's tenure as coach of the national side has come to an end after talks between the Argentine Football Association (AFA) and himself stalled.
The 49-year-old World Cup winner took charge of the side midway through qualifying when the twice world champions were struggling to qualify.
Under his guidance, Argentina qualified for the 2010 finals in South Africa and became one of the favoured teams after three stylish group stage wins.
A convincing 3-1 win against Mexixo set up a quarter final meeting with Germany who brushed aside Maradona's men by four goals to nil, sending them crashing out of the tournament.
Just a few days ago it was believed that Maradona would be offered a contract that would see him installed as boss until the summer of 2014 and the World Cup finals in Brazil.
However during a meeting with AFA president Julio Grondona on Monday, Maradona wouldn't accept demanded changes to his backroom staff, particularly the removal of Oscar Ruggeri and Alejandro Mancuso.
Grondona said: "It is difficult to agree. The hardest difference to agree on was changing some of Diego's staff. "Nobody has been sacked. A contract has not been extended because the conditions were not suitable."
The search is now on for a new national team boss, although under-20 coach Sergio Batista will take charge of the side ahead of a friendly match against Ireland in Dublin on August 11.
Daniel Passarella's assistant in France in 1998 Alejandro Sabella of Estudiantes, Racing Club's Miguel Angel Rosso and Batista have all been nominated as potential successors, but Grondona maintains the AFA will not rush its decision.
"We have time to choose the technical staff," he said. "We have not thought about anybody yet.
"Batista is a member of the staff of this body so he will obviously fill the place as long as is needed."