x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Argentina FA to keep faith with coach Batista

Argentina say they will retain Sergio Batista as their coach despite their early exit from the Copa America.

BUENOS AIRES // Argentina say they will retain Sergio Batista as their coach despite their early exit from the Copa America.
The 14-time champions lost their quarter-final to Uruguay in a penalty shoot-out.
But Humberto Grondona, the sub-director of team affairs at the Argentine Football Association (AFA) and the son of the AFA president, Julio Grondona, said the organisation would keep faith in the man who only officially replaced Diego Maradona, the new coach of UAE club Al Wasl, six months ago.
There will be no "brusque changes - we never thought of going down that road," said Humberto Grondona in an interview with Radio La Red.
"The technical staff have to have sufficient wisdom to draw conclusions" from the Copa failure to end a trophy drought stretching back to 1993. "The future lies before us - the qualifiers [for the 2014 World Cup]."
Batista has been vilified in the press for not seeming to know his best team - he chopped and changed after a poor start but that still did not prevent the Uruguay loss when Carlos Tevez missed the decisive spot kick.
Batista must "protect himself and see which player is of no use to him," Grondona junior said. "We hope he will change."
Maradona, sacked after a World Cup quarter-final thumping by Germany, was also criticised for using too many players but in any case had a poor relationship with Grondona senior.
Argentina's next scheduled match is a friendly on August 10 against Romania in Bucharest. In early September they will face Copa giant-killers Venezuela in a gala match in India and then take on Nigeria in Bangladesh on September 6.
* Agence France-Presse