Argentina were thoroughly outclassed by the European champions on Saturday night in the Vicente Calderón, losing 2-1. Xabi Alonso scored twice for the home side, the second a late penalty, whilst Lionel Messi got a temporary equaliser also from the spot after just over an hour. I wasn’t in the best shape last night, hence the lack of a match report, but you can see the highlights right here, as well as read about Diego Maradona’s suspension from footballing activity.
International friendly: Spain 2 – 1 Argentina (14th November 2009)
After the match, Maradona headed to Geneva for the FIFA disciplinary hearing regarding his comments in the post-match press conference following the 1-0 win away to Uruguay which secured Argentina’s place in South Africa 2010. FIFA have handed him a two-month ban on all football-related activity, which means he can’t do anything until the 15th January 2010. That’ll damage his ability to do his job as national team manager.
The fact that AFA President Julio Grondona is a close confidant of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, and is himself a FIFA Vice-President, probably has nothing to do with such a lenient punishment being handed down to Maradona. The ‘manager’ will also have to pay a fine of €16,600. Considering many had feared a much heavier fine and a suspension for a number of matches which might have lasted well into the World Cup Finals themselves, Maradona should take his punishment gladly. Of course, this is Diego Maradona. So we’ll wait and see what happens next.