In a recent development, Argentina legend Diego Maradona has stated that he rejected an offer from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to coach the country’s national men’s football team.
Maradona, who is currently in charge of the Argentinian Superliga side Gimnasia, reportedly met Maduro in Caracas on Tuesday. The meeting has happened within a month of Rafael Dudamel stepping down as Venezuela head coach as reported by IANS via Xinhua news agency.
“Maduro offered me the national team (job) but I told him that I have a commitment with Gimnasia,” Maradona said as quoted by IANS before his team’s home game with Velez Sarsfield on Friday.
“I couldn’t let the lads and the people down. There was no possibility that I would leave here,” he added.
Notably, Venezuela have been without a coach since 3 January, when Dudamel decided to step down from the post and join Brazilian Serie A club Atletico Mineiro instead.
Maradona’s contract with Gimnasia runs until May. The 59-year-old has stated that he is looking to help his side avoid relegation to the second tier. When Maradona was missing from Gimnasia’s training sessions earlier in the month, various media reports were speculating that he could probably join Venezuela.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan Football Federation is looking to appoint a new coach before South America’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers begin in March.
(With inputs from IANS)