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   27 May, 2002 | 1815 IST


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Ortega to wear Argentina's No 10

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Midfielder Ariel Ortega will wear Argentina's number 10 at the World Cup finals after FIFA barred them from retiring the shirt in honour of former captain Diego Maradona.

A revised list was distributed by Argentina's press officer Coco Ventura on Monday with Ortega at number 10 and the number 23 going to third-choice goalkeeper Roberto Bonano.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Sunday that world soccer's governing body would not allow Argentina to dispense with the number and outlawed their first squad list, which went from one to 24 without a number 10.

Ventura said Blatter's suggestion that Bonano would have to wear the 10 was not serious.

"Blatter does not have the authority to decide which player uses which number. That's down to the Argentine Football Association," he said.

Ortega was number 23 in Argentina's original list.

"It's a funny situation because Argentina's number 10 will be able to use his hands this time," joked Blatter at the weekend, in reference to Maradona's notorious 'hand-of-God' goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.

While retiring shirts is common in American sports it has never caught on in soccer, although Maradona's former Italian club Napoli said recently they would not use the number 10 shirt again as a mark of respect for Maradona.

The explosive Argentine guided his country to World Cup glory in 1986, the final in 1990 but was thrown out of the 1994 finals after testing positive for a cocktail of drugs.

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