The retired Argentine forward allegedly "pulled his eyes to the side in a clearly racist gesture"
Diego Maradona has denied making a racist gesture towards Asian fans at a World Cup game.
As reported by Business Insider, Diego Maradona has denied allegations that he made a racist gesture towards South Korean fans during a World Cup game in Russia.
British sports presenter Jacqui Oatley tweeted that Maradona had made the racist gestured in Spartak Stadium during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland.
The retired Argentine forward and Barcelona legend “obliged with a smile, kiss and wave. Then pulled his eyes to the side in a clearly racist gesture,” Oatley posted on Twitter.
Last year Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona was given a five-match suspension for making a similar racist Asian gesture.
Maradona not so cool now. Some South Korea fans just shouted “Diego” and he obliged with a smile, kiss and wave. Then pulled his eyes to the side in a clearly racist gesture. All of us who saw it are stunned.
— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) June 16, 2018
Maradona had attended the game as an official FIFA ambassador and was sitting in the VIP section reserved for ‘FIFA Legends’.
In a post on Facebook, Maradona responded to the incident saying, “I understand better than anyone that in the World Cup people are looking for news everywhere.” He added that he saw “an Asian boy wearing an Argentina T-shirt.”
“I, from afar, tried to tell them how nice it seemed to me that even the Asians cheer for us. And that’s all, guys, come on.”
He also apologised for smoking a cigar on despite a FIFA ban on smoking at World Cup stadiums.
“Everyone has their way of feeling things,” he wrote, citing tension at the game. “I honestly did not know that no one can smoke in the stadiums.”