Maradona returns to job 48 hours after stepping down


Diego Maradona is to stay on as head coach of Superliga Argentina club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata after reversing his decision to step down.

The former Argentina and Napoli great resigned on Tuesday after overseeing just eight matches, which yielded three wins and five defeats.

Maradona ‘s contract was due to run until the end of the league season on December 8, but he walked away from his post with three fixtures remaining.

The 59-year-old’s decision was linked to Gimnasia president Gabriel Pellegrino, the man who persuaded him to resume his coaching career, pulling out of the running for re-election.

However, Maradona has made a U-turn after explaining those running for election – voting was due to take place on Saturday but has been postponed for 15 days – have agreed to work together for the good of the club.

“I want to thank the fans and the players, because among all of us we finally got the political unity of the club,” he said on Friday. “I hope they comply with the reinforcements they promised me.”

Mariano Cowen, among the candidates to succeed Pellegrino at next month’s rescheduled election, said: “In common agreement with the board of directors, we postpone the elections for 15 days. Diego returns and the staff can work with tranquillity.”

Relegation-threatened Gimnasia are third-bottom of the table and host Arsenal de Sarandi this Sunday.

The 1986 World Cup winner began his tenure at Gimnasia in early September, marking the first time he had coached in Argentina since 2010.

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Maradona left a previous post at Mexican second-division side Dorados de Sinaloa due to health issues and has recently dismissed claims from his daughter that he is “dying from the inside”.

The ex-Barcelona playmaker has insisted he remains “very very healthy” at the moment, having overcome a long battle with¬†alcohol¬†and substance abuse in the past.

Maradona also made headlines at the end of October for sitting in a special throne-like armchair rather than the dugout as his Gimnasia side thrashed Newell’s Old Boys 4-0 at Estadio Marcelo Bielsa.


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