Diego Maradona calls Sepp Blatter a 'dictator' and Fifa a 'playground for the corrupt'

Diego Maradona has branded Sepp Blatter a "dictator" just days before the the Swiss 79-year-old is expected to be sworn in for a fifth term as president of Fifa.

In a scathing column for the Daily Telegraph, the 1986 World Cup winning captain said the governing body has turned into a "playground for the corrupt" and that under Blatter's tenure it had become a "disgrace and a painful embarrassment".

The whole notion of a fifth term is an absurdity in 2015 – it is not acceptable in democratic countries anywhere. Nor is it acceptable in the United Nations or most international organisations today...

There is a sick admiration for Blatter much like that accorded to an old Mafia boss who has somehow managed to stay out of jail.

Blatter’s political history is one of promoting division and hiding failures.

The Argentine's comments come just days after Luis Figo, the former world player of the year, said he would not be standing against Blatter in Friday's election and that Fifa was "living under a dictatorship".

"I have seen with my own eyes federation presidents who, after one day comparing Fifa leaders to the devil, then go on stage and compare those same people with Jesus Christ," Figo said.

Fifa will be holding its election in Zurich where Blatter will only be opposed by Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan because all other competitors have pulled out. He is widely expected to continue his 17-year incumbency.

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