Under pressure Argentina boss Diego Maradona has denied reports that he could step down from the job due to alleged differences with technical director Carlos Bilardo.
Maradona stated on Tuesday that regardless of the outcome of the final two qualifiers this week, he would consider his future. But he now insists that his words have been distorted.
“I’m not giving up nor am I going. I never said I could resign,” Maradona told a press conference. “I’m asking the press for a bit of respect.
“I only said that after the qualifiers I had to meet with Julio Grondona to talk about what happened during the whole of this year. It was you who said about resigning.
“I had to organise a meeting with the players to tell them that this wasn’t true because a journalist told (Martin) Demichelis and he asked me afterwards. The day I have to leave I will say.
“I could at this moment have been smoking a cigar rather than talking to you. I did it because I respect your work and because it’s my work.”
Maradona was named Argentina manager in November 2008, but four defeats in his 10 games in charge have left Argentina in fifth place in the South American qualifying group with two games to play.
The top four teams qualify for the World Cup while the fifth-placed team enters a home-and-away play-off with the fourth-placed team from the North, Central America and Caribbean region.
They could face a play-off to reach next summer’s finals depending on their results against Peru, on 10 October, and Uruguay.