FIFA said that it “strongly rebukes” ambassador Diego Maradona’s statements regarding the England-Colombia round of 16 game. Maradona had criticised American referee Mark Geiger’s officiating of the match. He said to Venezuelan broadcaster Telesur that Colombia had been victims of a ‘monumental theft’.
Regarding Geiger, Maradona said, “This referee may know a lot about baseball but he has no idea of football.”
Maradona disapproved of the penalty that gave England their opening goal. He said, “The penalty was not a penalty — it was a foul by Kane.” “Why didn’t he use VAR?”
He also criticised the head of FIFA’s referee committee Pierluigi Collina for allowing Geiger to officiate the match. “The referees are chosen by [Pierluigi] Collina, who was appointed by Infantino to change the new FIFA from thieves and fixers, and today we saw the opposite — an old and fixed FIFA, “said the 1986 World Cup winning captain.
FIFA said that Maradona’s implications were entirely inappropriate and completely unfounded. They said, “FIFA is extremely sorry to read such declarations from a player who has written the history of our game. ”
Maradona attended the game wearing a Colombia shirt. Regarding the match he added, “I’m just sorry for the whole Colombian people. I cheered Colombia’s goal as if I had headed it myself.”