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Football | FIFA World Cup

Huh Jung-Moo © Action Images

South Korean coach blasts Maradona



South Korea coach Huh Jung-Moo has poured scorn on Argentina's Diego Maradona, his opposite number in Thursday's clash between the countries and his opponent on the pitch in a bruising World Cup match 24 years ago.

Maradona complained that Huh "wasn't playing football, it was more like taekwondo" after he caused the Argentine legend to writhe in pain with one tackle during Argentina's 3-1 win against the Koreans in the 1986 World Cup match.

But Huh, who adopted strong-arm tactics as he marked Maradona in the match in Mexico City, failed to see the funny side when asked about the incident in a press conference on Wednesday.

"I did not kick him intentionally. If that had been the case, the referee would have sent me off, but I didn't even get a yellow card during the match.

"I don't care what Maradona says," Huh added. "There's no point in talking about something that happened more than 20 years.

"Our aim is to show him South Korea's true potential here in South Africa."

Maradona refused to be drawn on the subject, saying only "of course I will shake his hand, he's a coach."

Instead, the Argentine criticised the refereeing at this year's tournament, saying he was concerned the match officials were failing to protect players like his country's world player of the year Lionel Messi and striker Gonzalo Higuain.

"The referees leave a lot to be desired. If you want to see a show, you have to make sure the stars aren't treated badly.

"If South Korea mistreat us, Messi or Higuain, it will be a yellow card and then off they go," Maradona said.

"We have come to play football. Anyone who doesn't want to play football should go home."

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