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Diego Armando Maradona showed total support for the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and made evident a link that few dare to deny
Sport and politics, undoubtedly, maintain a close link: both move masses around the world, but are at the mercy of criticism and controversy.
There have been cases of athletes who, after leaving the professional sporting activity, have opted to enter the public administration or participate actively in the politics of their respective countries. Such is the case of the Brazilian Romario. After leaving the fields, he became a senator for the State of Rio de Janeiro. Another case is George Weah, who in 1995 won the Golden Ball and is now the president of Liberia.
Leer en español: Deporte y política no se mezclan bien: algunos ejemplos
However, cases in which athletes do not fully engage in politics, but openly show their support for some congressman, mayor, governor or, in this case, president, are also very common.
The controversy was unleashed again by the legendary Diego Armando Maradona, who dedicated words of support to the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. BBC Mundo reviews that, after the victory of his team, Dorados de Sinaloa, against Tampico de Madero in Mexico, the Argentinian expressed in a press conference: "I want to dedicate the victory to Nicolás Maduro and to all Venezuela that is suffering, because the sheriffs of the world, they are the Yankees, they think they can take advantage of us."
The world champion in 1986 made the affirmations amidst the tension that is experienced in the Bolivarian country by the recurrent power cuts, food shortages and the threat of a coup d'etat against Maduro, promoted by Juan Guaidó and backed by the US government of Donald Trump.
The statements were echoed by the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) and 'El Pelusa' was sanctioned. The same London portal points out that the 'Aztec' entity imposed a fine on the Dorados' coach for infringing ethic code, which specifies that he must remain neutral in the political sphere.
The case of Diego Armando is just one of the many that have been known worldwide about athletes who have chosen to draw attention by declaring their political affinity with a head of state.
In favor of Putin in the USA
In November 2017, Alexander Ovechkin moved the same foundations of the White House when he declared himself in favor of Russia's President, Vladimir Putin. However, the serious thing was his support, but rather that he expressed it while being the captain and referent of the hockey team of the capital of the United States: the Washington Capitals.
The portal BBC Mundo recalled the striking event and cited the post on Instagram that at that time hung on Ovechkin's social networks. The player wrote a broad message to the Russian head of state, in which he emphasizes that he wants to "show the world a strong and united Russia". He also reiterated his support for "Team Putin"'s initiative, because through it he wants to show his "admiration and respect".
In October 2018, when Jair Bolsonaro advanced his campaign to the presidency of Brazil, support came from an unexpected place: Rivaldo, world champion with Brazil and star of Barcelona. The player said that the best decision was to vote for the extreme right-wing, which won the election in the long run. Indirectly, Rivaldo wrote on his Instagram that if Brazilians "had to learn values with the president, today we would be imprisoned in Curitiba", with this he made a clear reference to the former president, nowadays prisoner, Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva, as Infobae reported. The example of this 'carioca' player was followed by Ronaldinho, Edmundo, and Cafu, who also showed their support for the current Brazilian leader.
The legendary American ex-boxer, Mike Tyson, was in favor of Donald Trump. El País reports that when the Republican was in the campaign stage, the boxer declared that "Trump should be president of the United States," adding that "we should try something new."
As a result, Trump won against the Democratic race Hillary Clinton and, of course, the ex-sportsman continues to maintain a close relationship with the US president.
The case of Tyson is not isolated, recalls Infobae, since other sports celebrities have supported Trump, such as Tom Brady, NFL star and Super Bowl winner this year; Hulk Hogan, an outstanding fighter who made his mark in WWE, golfer John Daly, baseball player John Rocker and former MLB man, Paul O'Neill.
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Translated from "Deporte y política no se mezclan bien: algunos ejemplos"