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Maradona requests prosecutor meeting over tax dispute

Former great celebrates Napoli's Cup win with toast

13 February, 13:20
Maradona requests prosecutor meeting over tax dispute (ANSA) - Naples, February 13 - Diego Maradona has requested a meeting with prosecutors to explain his position in a dispute over a bill of around 40 million euros from the Italian taxman, the former Argentina and Napoli great's lawyer Angelo Pisani said Thursday. The tax authorities say the footballer owes them money for unpaid taxes on off-the-books earnings in sponsorship and merchandising deals from his glorious time at Napoli between 1984 and 1991.

Maradona, who is revered in Naples for helping the city's soccer team to win two Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup in that period, denies this, saying he paid all the taxes due.

The 53-year-old is in Italy after visiting to see Napoli beat AS Roma 3-0 on Wednesday to qualify for the Italian Cup final by winning their semi 5-3 on aggregate.

He celebrated his former side's triumph by toasting it with a group of fans he ran into at a motorway service station afterwards. The former player does not return to Italy very often after having a diamond-studded earring and a Rolex watch seized, among other assets, over the tax row on past visits.

He caused a storm in October when he slapped his left hand onto his right arm on Italian television in the classic Italian 'umbrella' sign - the equivalent of a British V-sign or America's middle-finger 'flipping the bird' - after being presented with a tax bill reportedly in the region of 39 million euros.

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