Diego Maradona backed for FIFA presidency by Venezuela's Maduro

Venezuela's president has a few suggestions for football officials climbing out of the spiraling FIFA scandal.

President Nicolas Maduro thinks retired football star Diego Maradona should become the next FIFA president.

His comments late Tuesday came hours after FIFA's top official, Sepp Blatter, stepped down amid a U.S. probe into $150 million in bribes allegedly paid to top football officials.

Speaking on his national television program, Maduro said Argentine football legend Maradona had been calling out FIFA for decades, only to be laughed at. Maradona has been a high-profile supporter of the 16-year-old socialist revolution launched in Venezuela by late President Hugo Chavez.

Just weeks ago, the 1986 World Cup winner wrote a column in The Telegraph newspaper in England blasting Blatter as a "dictator for life," while calling FIFA "a disgrace."

"Under Sepp Blatter, FIFA has become a disgrace and a painful embarrassment to those of us who care about football deeply," he wrote.

"While I find almost no one openly supporting Blatter, many think he will win a fifth term. Why? The whole notion of a fifth term is an absurdity in 2015.

"No one has argued that he is the best man for the job and deserves to win.

"Recently he pledged to follow through in addressing racism in football and promoting women in the sport. That made me laugh. My question is: 'Sepp, what were you doing in your last four terms?'

"We have a dictator for life. I call Blatter 'the man of ice' because he lacks the inspiration and passion that are at the very heart of football. If this is the face of international football, we are in a very bad place."

Information from The Associated Press and Press Association has been used in this report.