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Maradona's death caps difficult week

MQONDISI DUBE
Diego Maradona
One of football’s leading lights, Diego Armando Maradona breathed his last this week in far-flung Argentina on Wednesday, but the impact of his death rang right through the world.

Maradona was a revered colourful character, whose larger-than-life personality continued to dominate the football world long after he hung up his boots. His death marked a testing last seven days for football, with depressing news. The tough week began with news that four national teams, including Botswana’s Young Zebras, had been sent home over age cheating allegations.

It was a new low for local football, which saw the Botswana Football Association suspend its chief executive officer, Mfolo Mfolo.

Investigations are underway to establish what transpired, although it was apparent the team did not undergo the critical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan before flying out to South Africa where the COSAFA tournament was held.

On Monday,

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the back pages were dominated by news that CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad had been slapped with a five-year suspension for, amongst other things, abuse of office and receiving or offering gifts.

Ahmad was seeking re-election at the next CAF elections in March. The race is now down to four candidates, including South Africa’s businessman, Patrice Motsepe. While the sport was still reeling from Ahmad’s suspension, two days later, one of football’s brightest roses wilted.

A flamboyant character, Maradona wowed fans in a sparkling career in the 1980s through to the 1990s, with the major talking point being the ‘Hand of God’ goal scored against England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.



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