Argentina head coach Diego Maradona has been banned from football for two months and fined by FIFA as punishment for his rant at journalists following Argentina's qualification for the World Cup finals a month ago in Montevideo, Uruguay.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Marcel Mathier, decided today 15 November in Zurich to impose a two month ban on taking part in any football related activity and a 25,000 CHF (Swiss Francs) fine on the head coach of Argentina Diego Armando Maradona, in relation to the disciplinary proceedings related to the incidents following the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Uruguay and Argentina played on 14 October 2009 in Montevideo” said the official release. The committee reached this decision following a three-hour meeting at the Home of FIFA in Zurich; the head coach of Argentina was heard by the committee during 40 minutes and apologised to FIFA and the world football family”. The committee took into consideration the apologies and the sincere remorse shown by Maradona in its decision, which was communicated to him at the end of the meeting. The sanction, which was taken on the basis of article 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, applies from 15 November 2009 to 15 January 2010. ”The committee stressed that any breach of this decision or any repetition of a similar incident would mean that stronger sanctions would have to be imposed in the future'' In practical terms it means that Maradona will not be able to manage his side when Argentina face Czech Republic in a friendly on December 12 although he will return for their following fixture - a friendly against Germany on March 3. Following a 1-0 win over Uruguay in Montevideo that confirmed Argentina's place at the World Cup finals, Maradona rounded on his critics in the press, using sexually-explicit language to denigrate journalists who had scrutinised his team's poor performance during qualifying.
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