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Maradona suspension angers Bangladesh

DHAKA, July 4 -- Grief and anger at the suspension of Argentine star Diego Maradona from 1994 World Cup soccer play continues to sweep Bangladesh, with fans burning Cup officials in effigy and announcing a one-minute boycott of the July 17 final, press reports said Monday. Maradona's positive test to stimulant ephedrine on Thursday rocked the soccer world.

A group of soccer fans in Dhaka calling themselves Bangladesh Maradona Youth Fan Club have decided to keep their TV sets switched off for one minute after kick-off of the final, the daily Bhorer Kagos said. The club issued a statement asking all soccer fans to do likewise, to protest world soccer governing body FIFA's positive drug test on Maradona, which led to the Argentine captain's exit from the tourney, the paper said. The club is assured of a positive response in the southwestern town of Jessore, 169 miles (272 km) from Dhaka. Soccer fans in Jessore on Sunday burnt an effigy of Joao Have Lange, the Brazil-born FIFA president, during a demonstration against Maradona's suspension, the paper reported. The Jessore demonstrators termed Maradona's explusion 'illigal and a conspiracy' and demanded his immediate reinstatement, the paper said. Reinstatement would be futile, because Argentina was hammered 3-2 by Romania on Sunday, which knocked the squad out of Cup contention.

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