Argentina’s national rugby team paid an on-field tribute to football star Diego Maradona on Saturday by sporting a No.10 armband on the sleeve of their jerseys following criticism of not doing enough to honour the late football legend.
The Pumas, who wore black armbands during their Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand a week ago, was rebuked for not doing enough and their gesture of sporting No.10 bands on Saturday comes in retaliation to a scathing attack by critics.
Last week during their match against the Pumas, All Blacks captain Sam Caine had laid an All Black No.10 jersey with Maradona’s name inscribed on it in the centre circle before performing their traditional Haka dance.
Also Read: ‘Did everything I could for an unmanageable patient’: Maradona’s surgeon
Following criticism of their show of limited respect, Argentina skipper Pablo Matera and his team posted an explanation online stating, “We know that our tribute for Diego caused disappointment, but we wanted to tell you that in no way was our intention.”
The team’s apology coincided with discovery of discriminatory and xenophobic tweets made by Matera from 2011-2013.
The scandal saw Matera lose his position, however, the Argentine rugby board rescinded its punishment on Friday.
Maradona, a lifelong rugby fan, died of cardiac arrest in November at the age of 60, plunging the South American nation and global football into mourning.
Also Read: Diego Maradona’s 1986 World Cup quarter-final shirt not for sale, says England’s Steve Hodge
The Australian’s too scripted history on Saturday as prior to the match the Australian national anthem was sung in an Indigenous language, a first at an international sporting event.