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World Cup diary - Maradona to decide his own fate

Published: 08 Jul 2010 - 06:45:16

Diego Maradona's future as coach of Argentina is in his own hands, it has been confirmed.

Julio Grondona, president of the Argentina Football Association, said: "Maradona is the only person in the country who can do whatever he wants. He still has a contract with us, so it's up to him."

It seems like Diego Maradona had the same privileges as Simon Cowell.

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SHAKIRA SHAKIRA

Shakira will headline the World Cup closing ceremony this Sunday, with the promise of a more "youthful and a bit more technologically advanced" performance from the Colombian songstress, than the opening ceremony.

BEGLINS CAN'T BE CHOOSERS

ITV viewers who were baffled by hearing commentator Clive Tyldesley's voice for the whole of Tuesday's World Cup semi-final between the Netherlands and Uruguay will be intrigued to hear that co-commentator Jim Beglin suffered an ear infection, which rendered him unable to join the commentary team in Cape Town. ITV could not locate a sustitute summariser, leaving veteran Tyldesley to fly solo. I know the feeling, Clive!

ORANJES SET FOR FINAL BLOOM

The Netherlands has gone cup final mad, in the wake of their qualification for Sunday's pinnacle event.

A bestselling Ducth newspaper said: "Finally, icons for our couch potato generation." At least we have James Corden in our country.

CROWDS UP IN SOUTH AFRICA

The total attendance at this summer's World Cup has passed the 3m mark, following last night's semi-final between Spain and Germany.

The average attendance in each of the 62 games so far has topped 49,000. The total and average attendances are the third-highest since the competition was expanded in 1982, with empty seats

GALLAS SLAMS DOMENECH

William Gallas has pinned the blame on coach Raymond Domenech for France's World Cup capitulation.

The central defender is quoted in French magazine Les Inrockuptibles as saying: "If (the campaign) was a fiasco, then there are reasons for it. And for me there is no need to draw a veil over why: they emanated from the coach. Okay I wasn't good, we weren't good. But the coach wasn't up to scratch either."

As a senior professional footballer in the France squad, is Billy not somewhat responsible for the way he and his team-mates performed this summer?

Gallas added: "Domenech hammered into us time and again: 'Put your egos to one side'. But I believe that he forgot to do that himself."

SPAIN ADVANCE

Spain booked their first ever World Cup final appearance after a narrow 1-0 victory over Germany in Durban.

Carlos Puyol headed the Iberians into the final on 83 minutes from Xavi's corner, redeeming himself after a poor first-half miss. Spain now face the Netherlands in Sunday's final at Soccer City, Johannesburg.

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Tom Littlefield
Seen as the heir apparent to Jan Molby until an underactive thyroid gland curtailed this youngster’s development, Tom Littlefield will now concentrate on making a “big pitch” (pun) during South Africa 2010. As Barnet’s staunchest Gooner, he is well placed to judge good football. So, while the England team provides your compulsory tournament displeasure, Tom will look to rouse your enthusiasm for the beautiful game (and WAGS) in the oasis of oratory that is his World Cup Diary.

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