Maradona questions FIFA over Costa Rica doping test
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona slammed FIFA after claiming seven of Costa Rica's players were subjected to post-match doping controls over fears sponsors would not pay up if bigger teams like Italy failed to get out of the group stage at the World Cup finals.
Costa Rica had stunned South American champions Uruguay 3-1 last week and qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup on Friday with a superb 1-0 win over four-time champions Italy in Recife.
In accordance with FIFA regulations, two players from each side underwent doping controls following the clash at Arena Pernambuco, AFP reported on Sunday.
However five other Costa Rica players, unnamed in a report Saturday on www.gazzetta.it, were also called to give samples.
Maradona said FIFA's decision amounted to test Costa Rican players amounted to a "lack of respect for the rules".
"Why test seven players from Costa Rica and not seven from Italy ?" said Maradona.
According to Gazzetta's report, FIFA explained that, as well as the two players from each side normally scheduled for post-match doping controls, five Costa Rican players were added to the list because they were not available for pre-tournament testing beforehand.
Image: Diego Maradona
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images