Diego Maradona apologises for comments on England's win over Colombia

Ross Houston
July 6, 2018

"I'm sure that an overwhelming majority of people who came will leave with the best feelings and memories of our country and will come again many times".

As the tournament entered the knockout stage the upsets continued.

The World Cup quarterfinals are here and they are four fascinating games for various reasons as teams take a step closer to the trophy.

The variables are plenty.

Diego Maradona has apologised to Federation Internationale de Football Association and its referees for saying that England's last 16 win over Colombia in the World Cup was a robbery and that referee Mark Geiger was not up to the task.

Based on the records of the teams still standing none has won the last three world tournaments and only three have ever won the competition.

England in particular brought a young side to the tournament‚ with many suggesting this was a mere learning experience ahead of the 2020 European Championships or the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"I feel fairly energetic for a 33-year-old", he told reporters with a smile on Wednesday.

"But, as a team, the way they work together, they are one of the best".

"I am just trying to enjoy it and be present in the now". We stuck to our game plan and never got into the brawl that they wanted. However, the Blue and Yellow can not be taken lightly after keeping clean sheets in each of their three wins to date, capped by a 1-0 victory over Switzerland as +225 underdogs to earn their first quarterfinal berth since 1994.

Commenting on the win over Colombia in the shootout penalty series instead of a victory in regular time, Trippier said "If you have got opportunities at this level, you need to take them".

Geiger refereed the Portugal vs Morocco game on June 20.

Belgium will also pose a big threat with Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne, and Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini as their potent weapons.

For all the drama around England, the victor of the tournament is more likely to come from the top half of the draw, where the teams can boast a combined eight tournament wins.

An intriguing side-plot throughout the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Diego Maradona has made a decision to take a decisive step back from critical remarks he directed at Federation Internationale de Football Association in the wake of Colombia's round-of-16 defeat to England. Remove one of the greatest players of this generation from your squad and all of a sudden you have a World Cup quarter-final to look forward to.

"Following comments made by Diego Maradona in relation to yesterday's round of 16 game, Colombia vs England, FIFA strongly rebukes the criticism of the performance of the match officials which it considers to have been positive in a tough and highly emotional match", a FIFA spokesperson said in a statement.

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