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Italy threatens to sue Diego Maradona

ROME -- Italy's tax collection agency has threatened to sue lawyers for Diego Maradona, who claims he had won his 20-year battle over tax debts.

Maradona lawyer Angelo Pisani says his client won the dispute and "can now return to Italy as a free man."

But the collection agency, the Agenzia delle Entrate, issued a statement saying that it had not "annulled, declared extinct, nor modified" Maradona's debts, and that "to the contrary" it had rejected a request from the Argentine.

The agency adds that it will evaluate if there are grounds to sue for damages.

Maradona's Italian debts of more than $50 million stem from alleged unpaid taxes during the time he played for Napoli from 1984-91.

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