Diego Maradona to lead soccer academy in Dubai

Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona represents the Dubai Sports Council.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Describing Dubai as his second home, Diego Maradona has been hired for another year in his role as global sports ambassador for this Gulf city.

The Argentine soccer great was fired as coach of the Dubai club Al Wasl after only one season. He has spent the past year traveling representing the Dubai Sports Council. The council said Tuesday it is extending his contract but did not say how much Maradona will be paid.

Maradona will promote sports in Dubai and oversee soccer academies in the city aimed at raising the quality of game across the United Arab Emirates. Maradona praised UAE soccer but said "passion'' for the sport is lacking.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.