It has come to the attention of the world that Diego Armando Maradona will be the coach of the Argentine National Football [Soccer] Team. While certain pundits have praised the selection, the BBC Sports Reporter Tim Vickery has criticized it. I an in agreement with Mr. Vickery after reading his article.
My disagreement is based on the experience of this one time supporter of Maradona. Here is the story which leads to the reason behind Maradona being a disaster for Argentine Football [Soccer]. It was 1978 in Caracas, Venezuela and people were watching the World Cup being broadcast live from Argentina on TV. There were people who even listened to it on their shortwave radio.
One of the people who listened was an adolescent Cuban/Spanish/American who was living in Venezuela. The adolescent celebrated the World Cup from Argentina and was happy. He was very happy that Argentina had won and that there was an emerging idol named Diego Maradona.
The adolescent added Diego Maradona to his list of idols [including Pele] and managed to receive souvenirs of this rising star. He saw commercials of Diego Maradona telling the youth not to consume drugs. Diego Maradona was everywhere in Venezuelan Television and even joked in the program from Venevision [Sabado Sensacional/Sensational Saturday] and RCTV [Radio Rochela]. Venevision and RCTV were Mixed Enterprises owned by the State and a Private Company which was also partly owned by the Government.
The deception quickly set in when Diego Maradona was arrested for posession of drug and drug paraphernalia. The happiness quickly turned into a deception and anger. The idol had deceived one of his biggest fans with his use of drugs and bragging about it. In a fit of anger, the adoloescent sold some of his Maradona Paraphernalia. The people were wandering what had happened but could only see the deception in the face of the adolescent.
Maradona again deceived the youth of Latin America and the American Continent including the adolescent. In 1980, during the Mariel Boatlift, the adolescent was worried about his relatives who were trying to flee Cuba. Maradona complicated things further by appearing on a Cuban Television programme which was broadcasted on Venezolana de Television [the Government Owned Station at the past and present time]. His performance which included an act of repudiation against artists who were leaving Cuba gave the adolescent a volcanic temper.
The adolescent [since he needed to pay for his university] sold what remained of his Maradona Souvenirs including the stamps, coins, bumper stickers, cassette recordings he made, EP [Extended Play Records which looked like 45 RPM Records but played at 33 RPM], and the 45 RPM Records. Many people wandered what had happened but others replied that Maradona must be very bad for a fan to sell the remaining paraphernalia.
In 1986, Argentina is in the World Cup in Mexico and Maradona struck the ball with his hand. He stated that it was “The Hand of God” and told his teammates to support him. He later on admitted that he did strike the ball with his hand which was a clear violation of FIFA and International Football [Soccer] Rules]. Regardless, Maradona was already far out of sight from the radar of the adolescent who was a young adult.
Maradona has done a diservice to football [soccer] with his antics, drug use, and mixing politics with sports. It is surreal that Maradona is allowed to even coach the National Team of Argentina. Regardless, Sindo Garay [Cuban Composer 1867-1968] once wrote in a touching verse in his song “La Bayamesa” “Esa Es Su Lema Su Religion”[This is their motto and their religion]“. Good Luck Argentina.
Before leaving, the adolescent who once supported Maradona and later sold off his paraphernalia was none other than the author of this article.