Diego Maradona insists that there is no foundation in accusations of tax evasion made against him by Italian authorities.
The Argentine has returned to Italy to watch Napoli’s clash with Roma on Wednesday night and now wants to clear his name of any wrongdoing despite Italian tax authorities citing that he owes them as much as €39m.
“I am pleased to be back in Italy,” the Gazzetta dello Sport quote Maradona from his Rome hotel.
“On Friday I will present myself to the European parliament officials who have decided to investigate me.
“I will make sure that truth and justice win in front of the citizens and judges of Europe and Italy.
“I have never run away and I will not run away.
“I have the right to defend myself against these false accusations and against the unpleasant stories that have spread about me.
“I regret the fact there are still people who believe me to be a tax fraud but I can walk with my head held high.
“I can tell the world forcefully that I have never taken a lira from any Italian, I have always been innocent and I have always had respect for institutions and for Italians.
“I want to express my solidarity with all victims of bureaucracy and of injustice, I hope to soon contact Sofia Loren so she can tell me how she was able to stay so strong to fight a hard battle against the courts.
“It’s not fair to use the name Maradona as a symbol of tax fraud.”