Argentina coach and legend Diego Maradona was reportedly told by FIFA to stay away from the FIFA World Cup Draw on Friday. Maradona was banned from all FIFA activities for two months, following his comments to journalists after Argentina secured qualification. The newspapers have been abuzz, suggesting that he would fly into South Africa and gain entry to the draw as a journalist. Said FIFA: “We have heard some rumours that he could join the Argentina delegation, but I have sent a letter to tell him to be aware that he is banned. If Diego Maradona arrives now as a journalist for a media company, his accreditation will not be accepted.”
Staying with the draw, South African born, Oscar winning actress Charlize Theron will co-present the draw alongside FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. Some of the South African sports icons that will be present are: South African rugby captain John Smit, Makhaya Ntini (who is is the first black player to play for South Africa cricket) and Bafana Bafana defender Matthew Booth. The draw promises to be a grand affair. FIFA said: “This is a very important event for football and Africa as the Final Draw comes to Cape Town where an unprecedented six teams from the host continent will be represented. We expect a record global audience which I hope will be glued to their screens for the duration of the show.”
David Beckham has flown into Cape Town to be an embassador for England’s 2018 bid. Some unfortunate news however is that his maternal grandfather has passed on. Becks however will remain in SA to fullfill his duties as embassador. Source:Times Online
France have been dealt a blow. Thierry Henry may face a ban in the early stages on the World Cup for his hand ball against Ireland. FIFA has revealed that the disciplinary committe will be looking into the matter: “The disciplinary [committee] will open a case on the behaviour of the player Thierry Henry,” Blatter said.
“This is a matter of the disciplinary committee and it’s not a question of this player or another – it was a blatant unfair playing and was shown all around the world, but I don’t know what the outcome will be.”
And to add insult to injury, Les Bleus will not be among the ranked teams at next years tournament. They were previously expexted to be in “POT 1” for the draw, but as it turns out the Netherlands are ranked higher than them. So France has been placed in “POT 4” and there is a possibility that they could be drawn with one of the seeded teams.