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'Despicable' Maradona has insulted me for 30 years - World Cup final ref

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The referee for the final of the 1990 World Cup has slammed Argentina legend Diego Maradona's regular attacks on him over the past 30 years and labeled him a "despicable" person.

West Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in Rome in an ill-tempered game in which the South American side ended with only nine players, with the Europeans scoring a late penalty to lift the World Cup.

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Uruguay-born referee Edgardo Codesal, who has been based in Mexico for over 40 years, has regularly been the focus of verbal attacks by Maradona for his handling of the match.

Codesal spoke out about the final in recent days, explaining in an interview on the Tirando Paredes show that he could've sent Maradona off even before kick-off for insulting the crowd, who booed the Argentine national anthem.

The former referee stated that he could've shown Maradona another red following the sending off of Pedro Monzon in the 65th minute, to which the Argentina star claimed the referee had been sent by FIFA to rob them, according to Codesal.

"I could've sent him off there as well," Codesal said. "I had to think about it because of the player he was ... But as a person? He's one of the worst people I have known in my life."

Codesal wrote on Twitter that following the interview he had received negative messages, but didn't back down from his classification of Maradona.

"Following the wave of comments, insults [going back 30 years] and yearnings that my children and my grandchildren die of COVID[-19] to see me suffer because I said Maradona is despicable, see the definition: not worthy of appreciation and esteem," wrote Codesal. "For me he is not [worthy of appreciation]. I said he was a brilliant player, but as a person he's despicable."

Codesal's handling of the final has long been the subject of debate in Argentina.

Monzon was the first player to be sent off in a World Cup final when he dove in on Jurgen Klinsmann, while West Germany was also awarded a penalty for Roberto Sensini's tackle on Rudi Voller. Andreas Brehme stepped up to score the winner in the 85th minute.

Gustavo Dezotti was then sent off two minutes later for a challenge on Jurgen Kohler.

Maradona has never forgotten the match, regularly mentioning Codesal, including in 2018 in Queretaro as manager of Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa. When he was told that the former referee lives in Queretaro, the Argentine replied: "This is the land of thieves?"