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FIFA World Cup 2018: Despite ban, Diego Maradona caught smoking cigar during Argentina-Iceland clash

Diego Maradona, who was watching the Argentina-Iceland match from the VIP section at Spartak Stadium, was puffing a large cigar despite smoking being banned in all FIFA World Cup venues.

football Updated: Jun 17, 2018 13:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
FIFA World Cup 2018,Diego Maradona,Argentina vs Iceland
Diego Maradona smokes a cigar during the FIFA World Cup 2018 Group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the Spartak Stadium on Saturday. (AFP)

Argentine legend Diego Maradona is no stranger to controversies. Best remembered for his ‘hand of the god’ goal during the 1986 World Cup that Argentina won under his captaincy in Mexico, Maradona has often found himself involved in cases of drug abuse in the past. (FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGE)

On Saturday, the 57-year-old got embroiled in another controversy when he was caught smoking a cigar during a Group D match between Argentina and Iceland that ended in a 1-1 draw. Smoking cigars and tobacco is banned at all the venues of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia, which makes the Argentina great’s act illegal.

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Maradona, who wore two watches much to the amusement of everyone during the match, was also accused of making a racist gesture towards some Korean fans. According to ITV presenter Jacqui Oatley, who was present in the stadium covering the game, Maradona made a “clearly racist gesture” after a bunch of young South Korean fans had shouted and waved at him.

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“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,” Oatley wrote in her Twitter post.

Maradona is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time with some considering him the GOAT (greatest of all time). Nicknamed El Pibe de Oro” (The Golden Boy), he was at his peak during the 1986 World Cup in which he won the Golden Ball award after leading his team to title glory.

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 13:31 IST