Diego Maradona’s not pleased with the AFA, after revealing that the reason for his not calling up Juan Román Riquelme and Sebastián Battaglia was that the governing body insisted Boca Juniors play on Sunday rather than Saturday, even though the date of the France friendly has been fixed for months. He has therefore decided to leave Cristian Ledesma at home as well, so as not to affect San Lorenzo adversely. The other domestic league players will still travel though.
‘The subject of Riquelme and Battaglia is an odd one because the match with France was all arranged a very long time ago, we had all the journeys sorted out as well, and now they’ve put the Boca match at 7pm on Sunday [after the squad fly to Marseilles],’ Maradona told the press, clearly not afraid of upsetting his new employers further after the business of trying to secure assistant managers the AFA didn’t want him to have. Never an underspoken man, our Diego.
In Rosario, meanwhile, the revolution at Newell’s gathers apace in spite of the systematic intimidation from outside the club. The decision to use a list of ‘rights of admission’ at El Coloso del Parque has been taken – for the first time in Newell’s history, a list will be given to the security authorities prior to Saturday’s match with Gimnasia La Plata, and barra bravas whose names appear on it won’t be allowed into the match. After 14 years of running free and unfettered under Eduardo López, it’s a tough wakeup call for the hooligans.
Around twenty barras are on the list, at the top of which appear the names of Roberto Caminos and his two brothers, the capos of the gang. President Guillermo Llorente is showing a strong hand to demonstrate to Newell’s fans that he’s on their side. Here’s hoping his stance remains solid.