THE CASE MARADONA
Diego Armando Maradona’s debt for unpaid tax increases again. The Provincial Tax Commission of Naples, rejected as unacceptable an appeal by the football player, also condemned to pay the expenses of the delayed payment for a total of € 2000. The judgment has been filed on January 10 last year. Maradona’s lawyers had filed an appeal to challenge the “silent rejection” by which the tax authorities had accepted the request to cancel the folders former Napoli striker Football relating to non-payment of taxes in six different years, from1985 to 1990. In particular, it was alleged failure to notify the folders, the time-limits for the requirements and the invalidity of the notice of default.
Angelo Pisani, Maradona lawyer in dispute with the Italian tax authorities, says: “Who lost the appeal was not Maradona but the Inland Revenue. The judgment was filed on February 1 was written on purpose to make it look like we had lost. The truth is that the appeal of the Revenue was rejected and confirmed the judgment of the tax courts of ’94 who claimed that the tax assessments, against Naples football society and its player at the center of the dispute, were invalid. In short, Maradona was acquitted in the tax even if the investigation went on for the recovery of sums alleged by the Italian public company in charge of the collection of national taxes.”
The player can not visit Italy, but for years now he wants to return, back to Naples, where hundreds of fans are waiting for him with open arms, and most recently, in an interview, he also released a video addressing Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic.
“I ask to Italian politicians to see clearly what is behind all this. I did not steal anything, there is no evidence to prosecute me. If I’ve been wrong, it was for other things”.
But for those who do not know him, let’s see what and who Maradona is.
Today Diego Armando Maradona is an Argentine football coach but, once was a famous football player nicknamed “El Pibe de Oro”. Many experts, football critics, players, and football fans in general consider Maradona the greatest football player of all time. He is the only footballer to set world-record contract fees twice, firstly when transferring to Barcelona for a then world record £5m, and secondly, when transferred to Napoli for another record fee £6.9m. During his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys, but at club level, he is most famous for his career in Napoli football team.
Maradona is considered one of the sport’s most controversial and newsworthy figures. He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a drug test, for cocaine, in Italy, and his outspoken manners have sometimes put him at odds with journalists and sport executives.
At Napoli, Maradona reached the peak of his professional career (from 1984 to 1991). He quickly became an adored star among the club’s fans, and in his time there he elevated the team to the most successful era in its history. Led by Maradona, Napoli won their only Serie A Italian Championships in 1986/87 and 1989/1990, placing second in the league twice, in 1987/88 and 1988/89. Other honors during the Maradona era at Napoli included the Coppa Italia in 1987, (second place in the Coppa Italia in 1989), the UEFA Cup in 1989 and the Italian Supercup in 1990. Maradona was the top scorer in Serie A in 1987/88.
During his time in Italy, Maradona’s personal problems increased. His cocaine use continued, and he received US $70,000 in fines from his club for missing games and practices, ostensibly because of ‘stress’. He faced a scandal there regarding some illegitimate sons; and he was also the object of some suspicion over an alleged friendship with the Camorra.
Later on, in honor of Maradona and his achievements during his career at Napoli, the #10 jersey of Napoli was officially retired. Maradona was dominantly left-footed, often using his left foot even when the ball was positioned more suitably for a right-footed connection. One of Maradona’s trademark moves was dribbling full-speed on the right wing, and on reaching the opponent’s goal line, delivering accurate passes to his teammates. Another trademark was the Rabona, a reverse-cross pass shot behind the leg that holds all the weight.
In 1999, he won FIFA Player of the Century award which was to be decided by votes on their official website, their official magazine and a grand jury. Maradona won the Internet based poll by wide margins, garnering 53.6% of the votes against 18.53% for Pelé.
In Argentina and Naples, the champion is indicated as a symbol and hero of the sport because of its humble origins and its original low social status: in spite of the multiple gains did not lose the ways of expressing and the vocabulary specific to the fringe of the less well-off population. To this was added his stand against the “strong-powers”, especially with the Neapolitans who saw him as a representative of “oppressed” in Southern Italy that fought against the “dominance” of the rich teams in the North. It was for this reason, not only for his achievements in the fields of football Maradona was practically worshiped by both Argentinians and Neapolitans.
Over the years, Maradona has been involved in various legal proceedings, partly resolved out of court. Those that have had more prominence are definitely related to different paternity, but several were those for drugs, assault and economic issues.
“I want to become the idol of the poor children of Naples, because they are like I was in Buenos Aires”.
(Maradona said on 5 luglio1984 at the official presentation at the San Paolo stadium in Naples)
In 2000, the Napoli football team decided that never again a player would wear a shirt with the number 10 belonged to Maradona. But in 2004, due to the regulation on the number of T-shirts, the team, however, was forced to reprint the shirt with that number.
When Maradona had left the city of Naples, emerged other economic problems with the Italian tax authorities, who accused him of evading taxes during the last two years of stay in Naples. It is said that the leaders of Naples football team did signed players two contracts, one for players and one for image rights, and this procedure was seen by Italian Finance Police as tax evasion. Having regard to the Italian law that provides for the increase in arrears with the passing of the years, a judgment of the Supreme Court in February 2005 condemned the player to pay 31 million euro. In May 2008, reached the figure of € 34 million due to the accumulated interest. In March 2009 Italian officials announced that Maradona still owed the Italian government €37 million in taxes; €23.5 million of which was accrued interest on his original debt. In this regard, the Italian Finance Police seized his fee of € 3 million received in 2005 for taking part in an Italian TV program, also in 2006, at a charity event in Naples,were seized two Rolex watches gold worth 10,000 euro. In September 2009, during his last stay in Italy, were further seized two diamond earrings valued at € 4,000.