But according to Maradona himself, that wasn’t good enough for him to be allowed to watch his team take on Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 2014 World Cup on Sunday.
Maradona — who is covering the tournament for Venezuelan TV — claimed that FIFA officials denied him access to the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro when he tried to enter with his son. He said he did everything he could, but wound up having to watch the second half of the game from his hotel.
“Someone just said no, it could not happen, so I had to watch it on TV,” Maradona told the Argentinian channel TyC Sports via The Guardian. “Hopefully we will get this resolved because I want to go and see Argentina in several more games.
“It is one thing to not be able to go to a game, and another to not be allowed to go. When there is goodwill, you’re allowed in but when there is ill will, it’s better to forget it and head back to the hotel, which is what we did.”
Maradona is a fierce critic of FIFA and called their power over host countries “ugly” at the beginning of the tournament.
FIFA’s head of media Delia Fischer told The Daily Mail that they have no report of Maradona’s incident.
“He is accredited as a journalist, but we have not received any report on this,” Fischer said. “As long as he is going into the correct media area there should not be an issue. Maybe he tried to go somewhere where he didn’t have the necessary access, but we have no record of that happening.”