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An Unfounded Maradona Quote About the World Cup Resurfaces Online

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
15th November 2022
An Unfounded Maradona Quote About the World Cup Resurfaces Online
The claim has been circulating since 2013 (Getty)

As the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 approaches, social media users are resharing stories from previous tournaments.

The quote allegedly attributed to Diego Maradona in response to Japan's 2002 World Cup denial has been circulating since 2013.

After Japan refused to let him enter the country for the 2002 World Cup, former Argentine star Diego Maradona allegedly stated, "They don't let me into Japan because I once took drugs, yet they let in the Americans who dropped atom bombs on them."

The claim has been circulating online since 2013, prior to the 2014 World Cup in Russia. 

The claim has resurfaced amid the preparations for the 2022 World Cup 

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The claim was shared online in Arabic across the MENA region.

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Was This Statement Made by Maradona?

Misbar conducted a thorough search but was unable to locate any such quotes made by Diego Maradona.

In 2013, the quote was widely shared on social media, but none of the sources were reliable.

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Why Was Maradona's Entry Into Japan Banned?

According to reports, Argentine ex-footballer Diego Maradona has canceled his trip to the World Cup finals because the Japanese government refused to grant him a visa because of his previous drug history.

Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986, was scheduled to visit Japan as a TV commentator for the Japan-South Korea World Cup in 2002.

Maradona was quoted saying: "I won't go to the World Cup. South Korea has invited me but Japan has not accepted me for personal reasons." 

However, due to his legendary status in football, the Japanese government reversed its decision to bar Maradona from entering Japan.

He arrived in Tokyo just in time to see Brazil play Germany in the World Cup final in Yokohama.

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Maradona's Drug Record

In 1991, Maradona tested positive for cocaine and was suspended for 15 months by the Italian Football Federation. He was also arrested in Argentina for drug use.

Later that year, he was arrested in Buenos Aires for possessing a half-pound of cocaine, for which he was sentenced to 14 months in prison suspended.

Maradona was a member of Argentina's squad for the 1994 World Cup in America. His tournament was over before the group stage ended when he tested positive for five different forms of the illegal drug ephedrine.

Maradona returned to his old club, Boca Juniors, in 1995. After failing a drug test for the third time in six years, his playing career ended in 1997.

Even after retiring, there was still controversy because Maradona was sentenced to two years and ten months in prison with a suspended sentence in June 1998 for shooting journalists with an air rifle in 1994.

Diego Maradona overdosed in 2000 and had a heart attack in 2004.

He was forced to have gastric bypass surgery in 2005 and was hospitalized again in 2007 with hepatitis.

Argentine Football Legend Diego Maradona

Maradona was an Argentine professional footballer. He was one of two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award and is widely regarded as one of the game's all-time greats.

He appeared 91 times for Argentina's national team, scoring 34 goals. 

Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 tournament in Mexico, where he helped Argentina defeat West Germany in the final and was named the competition's best player.

Misbar’s Sources


The Irish Times