The football icon has been the subject of a three-decade battle with the country's revenue authorities
The Supreme Court in Italy acquitted the late Argentine football icon Diego Maradona of tax evasion charges, bringing an end to a 30-year legal battle with the country's revenue authorities.
Maradona, a World Cup winner who represented Napoli between 1984 and 1991, was accused of using proxy companies in Liechtenstein to evade paying taxes on fees he received from the Italian club over his image rights.
Legal documents seen by Reuters showed that the Rome Court of Cassation overturned a ruling issued in 2018 last month, and officially acquitted Maradona of any financial violations. Investigations into Maradona's Italian tax affairs began in the early 1990s and led to charges worth €37 million ($40.38 million), as well as the seizure of some of his personal property.
He added: “The matter is over, and I can say clearly and without fear of contradiction, that Maradona was never a tax evader.” His lawyer, Angelo Pisani, told the news agency on Friday.
Pisani added that the court's decision He added: “This does justice to the fans, and does justice to the values of the sport, but first and foremost to the memory of Maradona.” In addition to that “It puts a tombstone on the persecution he suffered for 30 years.”
He also explained that the ruling gives Maradona's family access to the ruling “legal right” To request compensation. “I hope they use it in memory of their father.” He said.
Maradona, widely considered one of the greatest footballers in history, scored more than 300 goals in a glittering club career, which saw him represent Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors and Barcelona, in addition to his seven seasons in Italy.
He made 91 appearances for the Argentine national team, scoring 31 goals, and led his country to the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico – where he scored his famous “Hand of God” goal in the quarter-finals against England.
He was the first player to break the world transfer fee record twice; In 1982, when he moved to Barcelona from Boca Juniors for £5 million, and again two years later, when he joined Napoli for £6.9 million.
Maradona died of a heart attack while sleeping at his home in Buenos Aires on November 25, 2020, at the age of 60.
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