Published On: Fri, Jun 15th, 2018

Maradona slams 2026 World Cup hosts: 'There's no passion' in U.S., Canada

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Diego Maradona has no love for the continent that played host to his greatest footballing triumph.

Days after FIFA announced Canada, Mexico, and the United States will host the World Cup in 2026, the Argentina legend said the North American nations don’t deserve to host the tournament, citing a lack of success and passion.

Maradona’s issues varied from poor results in past World Cup competitions to a love for winter sports.

Mexico, which has been eliminated in the round of 16 in six successive tournaments, will become the first nation to host the competition three times. But Maradona obviously doesn’t hold a soft spot for the nation where he guided Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986.

“I don’t like it,” Maradona told Telesur, as translated by ESPN FC. “Mexico doesn’t deserve it. The Mexicans come up against Brazil or Germany … and boom, they’re out.”

Issues with Canada and the United States had little to do with performances on the pitch. Maradona referred to Canada’s love for the slopes and a failed proposal by the U.S. – before the country was awarded the 1994 World Cup – as examples why the two nations aren’t worthy of hosting football’s greatest spectacle.

“There’s no passion,” Maradona said. “The Canadians may be good skiers, and the Americans wanted to have four periods of 25 (minutes) for the advertising.”

Maradona was also critical of Qatar’s winning bid to host the 2022 World Cup when he called for an end to former president Sepp Blatter’s reign.

“I want transparency,” Maradona said in 2015. “Rats can get anywhere in the world; he is the president of Fifa.”

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