Maradona served with 39m-euro tax bill in Italy

Oct 19, 2013, 03:04 IST | AFP

Italian tax agents have served football legend Diego Maradona with papers over a 39-million-euro ($53-million) debt that the feisty Argentinian disputes, ANSA news agency reported yesterday.

Maradona was in Milan for an event organised by best-selling sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport for the publication of a DVD collection on his life.

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona during the 2010 World Cup. Pic/Getty Images

A source at the Equitalia tax recovery agency said the move was simply formal procedure since the papers only have a 180-day validity and therefore have to be renewed whenever Maradona is in Italy.

They would theoretically give legal premise for Italian authorities to seize Maradona’s assets in Italy, which the international star does not have.

“This is not putting pressure,” the source said. Maradona’s tax woes go back to when he played for Napoli between 1984 and 1991. In 2005, he was ordered to pay 37.2 million euros, 23.5 million euros of which were interest on the debt.

But Italian prosecutors resumed the trial from scratch in 2011 in what was seen as a victory by Maradona’s lawyer in Italy, Angelo Pisani.  A final ruling on January 10 this year from a court in Naples has now made the sentence definitive.

“I am not a tax fraudster,” Maradona protested last year. “I was playing football and someone else was signing for me,” he said. Maradona scored 115 goals for Napoli, where he is still adored to this day. With him on the team, Napoli won their only two league titles in 1987 and 1990. 

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