Ex-soccer great seeks tax relief in Italy

Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:20 AM
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NAPLES, Italy, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Former Argentinian soccer great Diego Maradona says he is appealing to Italy's politicians to mediate in his dispute with the country's tax authorities.

Italian tax revenue officials say Maradona, 52, owes $54 million for unpaid taxes on his earnings and sponsorship deals between 1984 and 1991.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported Maradona's lawyer said last week the agency had canceled the debt, but representatives from the agency said they have not.

ANSA said authorities have seized Maradona's diamond-studded earring and Rolex watch on his past visits to Italy.

"I cannot freely return to Naples with peace of mind and this is not right," he said in a video message released by his lawyer. "I appeal to the politicians. I didn't steal anything. If I did things wrong, it was about other stuff. I want to return to Naples freely."

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