Argentina great Diego Maradona was reportedly been taken to the hospital after watching his national team dramatically beat Nigeria 2-1 to qualify for the Round of 16. Videos emerged after the match of him needing assistance to get up from his seat and walk after the match. But the former footballing legend on Wednesday confirmed that he is fit and was not hospitalised.
“Giving updates on his health in an Instagram post, the 57-year old wrote, “I want to tell everyone that I am fine, that I am not, neither was I interned. In the halftime of the game against Nigeria, my neck hurt a lot and I suffered a decompensation. I was checked by a doctor and he recommended me to go home before the second half, but I wanted to stay because we were risking it all. How could I leave? I send a kiss to everyone, thanks for the support.”
The Argentine website of sports broadcaster ESPN had earlier reported that Maradona was taken to hospital but newspaper La Nacion said he was treated for low blood pressure in the stadium and was able to leave the stadium normally shortly afterward.
A host of other visuals had shown Maradona animatedly cheering when their captain Lionel Messi scored the first goal and after Marcos Rojo’s late equaliser. In case of the latter, Maradona was mouthing expletives and making obscene gestures at what is being reported as Nigerian fans, something that earned him a lot of criticism on social media and post-match shows on television.
Más q una pena. La droga destruye Diego pic.twitter.com/RxhbUnUePh
— FERNANDO SCHWARTZ (@fersch_4) 26 June 2018
Maradona was the star of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup triumph and is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time. At the same time, he was also known for his troubles off the pitch and his international career ended with a failed dope test during the 1994 World Cup.
He has been present in every Argentina match in Russia and had defended Messi for missing a penalty in their opening match against Iceland. After their 3-0 loss to Croatia, Maradona was scathing of the Argentine Football Association and said that he would like to hold a meeting with the players.