Diego Maradona will support UAE, not Argentina

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona insists he will be supporting his adopted country the UAE and not his  homeland at the forthcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

Argentina are among 24 nations involved in the battle for the biggest prize in youth football.

Hosts UAE drew 1-1 with the Argentina in a pre-tournament friendly-up last week and have been tipped by some to go far in the competition.

Maradona, a sports ambassador for Dubai, has resided in the country for the past three years and having come to call the UAE home, he will be supporting the hosts over the coming weeks.

“I will support the UAE and not Argentina because of my differences with my country,” said Maradona. “I urge all the fans to come in large numbers to support the home team.

The tournament kicks off on Thursday in Abu Dhabi with Brazil taking on Slovakia in the opening match of Group A at 5pm followed by hosts UAE versus Honduras at 8pm.