The former Napoli striker has never reconciled differences with the Argentine Football Association (AFA) since he was unceremoniously removed from the position of head coach of the senior national side after the 2010 World Cup.
He is now back in Argentina, where he has picked up the post of 'spiritual coach' for Primera D club Deportivo Riestra in addition to his role as a sports ambassador for Dubai, after leaving Emirates club Al Wasl last year.
However, as a result of his tempestuous relationship with the AFA, Maradona is withholding his support for his own country and has announced he will instead be getting behind the home team at the upcoming tournament.
“I will support the UAE and not Argentina because of my differences with my country,” the former World Cup winner announced at a press conference. “I urge all the fans to come in large numbers to support the home team.”
The tournament kicks off on Thursday when Brazil takes on Slovakia in the opening match, before UAE takes on Honduras.
Argentina, meanwhile, starts its campaign, minus the support of Maradona, against Iran on Saturday evening.