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Friday, 26 April, 2002, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Chilavert backs Maldini
Paraguay's Jose Luis Chilavert has again come to the defence of national coach Cesare Maldini.

The Italian was heavily criticised following the team's 4-0 defeat against England.

But the unpredictable goalkeeper has turned the tables, rounding on the supporters who had abused Maldini on his return from the match.

And Chilavert also described 90% of the press as "incompetent".

"I would like to apologise to 'professor' Maldini for the unacceptable behaviour of the fans," the 31-year-old told Paraguayan radio station Nanduti

"They should let us get on with our preparations and if things go badly then they can feel free to criticise us," he added.

Chilavert also wants the press to judge Maldini and the team on their showing in the Far East.

"About 90% of sports journalists in Paraguay are incompetent.

"The young Paraguayan journalists must change the mentality and direction of sports journalism and not follow the same path as the older generation.

"The latter bunch are mediocre and will never be able to rise above that level," he concluded.

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GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0

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