Maradona lashes out at Argentina betrayal

Diego Maradona has accused Argentinian Football Association president Julio Grondona and director of national teams Carlos Bilardo of forcing him out of his job as coach.

Maradona, whose side suffered a humiliating defeat by Germany in the quarter-finals of the World Cup this summer, met with Grondona on Monday to discuss his future and a possible renewal of his contract.

He was told at the meeting the board were only prepared to keep him in if he changed substantial numbers of his backroom team, something Maradona was unprepared to do.

And the World Cup winner claims they knew full well it was a stipulation he would never agree to - and tantamount to sacking him.

Maradona read out a statement to reporters, saying: "Grondona lied to me. Bilardo betrayed me.

"Having recovered from the sadness of the elimination, we were all ready to go on, knowing that we would have much more time to work.

"After the elimination, Grondona told me in dressing room that he was very happy with my work and wanted me to continue. There were witnesses and players there.

"When we were back in Argentina, things became darker.

"On Monday, I met Grondona and after five minutes he told me he wanted me to continue, but seven of my staff should not go on.

"If he told me that, it meant he did not want me to keep working.

"He knows that it would be impossible for me to continue if my assistants didn't continue too. I defend all of them.

"Maybe some of the people who made this decision thought I would betray them. Maybe it was because they would betray their assistants if they were me. But I will not do that."

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