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Dunga Irritated by Question About Gesture to Argentine Bench

10/14/2014 - 08h51

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MARCELO NINIO
SPECIAL ENVOY TO SINGAPORE

Dunga, manager of the Brazilian national football team, fought once again with the press on Monday (13), after a period of relative calm since he took over as manager in July.

During a press conference in Singapore, he became irritated with a question about an incident during the match against Argentina in Beijing on Saturday (11).

Images from the end of the match show Dunga arguing with the opposing bench. At one point, he rubs his nose repeatedly, pointing to a member of the Argentine coaching team and saying "You're just the same."

The gesture was interpreted by some as a reference to Diego Maradona's cocaine use. However, when questioned about the incident by a reporter from TV Globo, Dunga denied that this had been his intention.

Dunga said he was referring to the fact that the players' noses were blocked, owing to the air pollution in the Chinese capital.

"You're the one who's talking about drugs," he retorted. "We're working hard with this squad and I think the fans want a competitive team, a hot-blooded team. If you want a calmer, slower team, well that's your problem."

Tension was increased by the fact that the question was not translated correctly initially, and had to be repeated. Dunga's irritation was visible.

His behavior did not go unnoticed by the Argentine press, which quickly labelled it as a provocation.

The newspaper Clarín said that Dunga gave a "lame excuse" when called upon to explain the gesture. For Olé, his gesture was ridiculous, and in addition the sports paper asked "the same as who?" in reference to what he said.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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