The coach of Venezuela’s national soccer team said on Friday he had offered to resign after meeting with opposition leader Juan Guaido’s envoy to Spain, in the midst of a power struggle between Guaido and socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
After a 3-1 victory over Argentina in Spain, the coach, Rafael Dudamel, said he had spoken with officials from Venezuela’s soccer federation and “put my role up for review” following his meeting with Antonio Ecarri, designated by Guaido as his ambassador to Spain, before the game in Madrid.
He has designated representatives to a number of countries that have disavowed Maduro’s government. Maduro calls Guaido a puppet of the United
“We have been living through very complicated times, and we are very politicized,” Dudamel told reporters after the game. “We respectfully received the visit of the ambassador, Mr. Antonio Ecarri ... just as we have [in the past] received the ambassador of President Maduro.”
He later accused Guaido and Ecarri of “politicizing” the visit, telling CNN the meeting took place on the condition that any photographs or videos of the meeting would be for “internal consumption.”
“Today was denigrating, it’s unfortunate how they have acted,” Dudamel said.
A spokesman for Guaido did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Venezuela’s information ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dudamel said he would remain as coach for now and planned to be on hand for the national team’s next game on Monday against Catalonia.