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Friday, February 1, 2013
Maradona's lawyers face court action

ESPN staff

Diego Maradona's lawyers may be sued by Italy's tax collection agency after their claim that the former Argentina star has won his 20-year battle over tax debts.

Maradona's lawyer Angelo Pisani said his client won the long-running dispute and "can now return to Italy as a free man''.

However, the collection agency - the Agenzia delle Entrate - issued a statement on Friday saying it had not "annulled, declared extinct, nor modified'' Maradona's debts, and that "to the contrary'' it had rejected a request from the ex-Barcelona man. The agency added it will evaluate whether or not there are grounds to sue for damages.

Maradona's Italian debts of nearly €40 million date back to the period when he played for Napoli from 1984-91 and he allegedly failed to pay his taxes.

Tax police have previously confiscated two Rolex watches and a diamond earring from Maradona when he visited Italy in the past. Plans for a match in Naples to celebrate Maradona's 50th birthday in 2010 had to be abandoned due to threats from tax authorities.

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