Soccer coach kicks annoying fan

Soccer coach kicks annoying fan
September 23, 2011, 1:43 pm
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From Comcast SportsNet Friday, September 23, 2011
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Diego Maradona and his deft left foot have struck again, and this time the former Argentina great had to apologize for it. Maradona, who now coaches Al Wasl in the United Arab Emirates, kicked a fan's hand after a match because it was intruding on a photo Maradona was trying to take with a banner of support from his grandson. "As a surprise from my daughters in Argentina and Manchester, they put a sign up for me in the ground that read: 'Grandfather, I'm with you. I love you. Benja,'" Maradona said after a 3-0 win over Emirates in the Etisalat Cup on Thursday. "I'd like to apologize to one of the fans. I was trying to unfurl and see the whole banner and, by mistake, I perhaps injured him." The white banner was attached to a fence, with a throng of fans standing behind it. One of them stuck a hand through the a hole in the fence to lift the bottom of the banner, which had the message in both Spanish and Arabic. The 50-year-old Maradona then pulled the banner down, but the same hand raised it again as several fans tried to get a glimpse of the former Argentina captain. The second time, Maradona appeared to be a bit more perturbed, yanking the banner down with force. When the same fan lifted the banner a third time, it was all too much as Maradona landed a hard kick on the offending hand. He then glared into the camera for the picture. Although he may be more famous for scoring with his own hand, the left-footed Maradona was one of the greatest football players in history. His two most famous goals came in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals. First, he punched a ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton in what has become known as the "Hand of God" goal. Four minutes later, he weaved past four opponents from halfway to beat Shilton for what FIFA later declared the greatest goal in World Cup history. Argentina went on to win the World Cup that year, but Maradona and his teammates lost in the 1990 final. Maradona retired in 1997, but he battled weight and an admitted cocaine habit even before he left the game. He even once fired an air gun at reporters outside his home and was threatened with jail. Maradona turned to coaching in 2008, taking over at Argentina and leading his country to the World Cup in South Africa. But after barely qualifying from the South American region, Maradona unleashed a string of profanities in yet another scandal. Maradona took over as coach of Al Wasl in May. He arrived in Dubai last month to start his two-year contract. His grandson, Benjamin, is the son of Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and his daughter Giannina.