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Maradona 'betrayed' by AFA

Diego Maradona accused Argentine soccer chiefs of betraying him, a day after they voted to sack him as national team coach.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) decided not to renew Maradona's contract following the team's 4-0 drubbing by Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals last month.

In his first public comments since the defeat, Maradona took aim at AFA president Julio Grondona and the technical director of the national team, Carlos Bilardo. "Grondona lied to me, Bilardo betrayed me," a sombre Maradona said, reading from a prepared statement.

"Grondona told me in the changing room after we were eliminated in South Africa ... that he was very pleased with the work I'd done and he wanted me to stay on," he said. "When we were in mourning, Bilardo worked in the shadows to kick me out."

Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup victory as captain in 1986, was appointed as national coach in 2008 despite having very little coaching experience.