Tax police seize Maradona's earrings

ROME Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:48pm BST

Argentina's coach Diego Maradona reacts during their World Cup 2010 qualifying match against Paraguay in Asuncion September 9, 2009. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Argentina's coach Diego Maradona reacts during their World Cup 2010 qualifying match against Paraguay in Asuncion September 9, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

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ROME (Reuters) - Italian tax authorities seized earrings worth 4,000 euros (3,620 pounds) from visiting football legend Diego Maradona on Friday to help pay off his back taxes, they said in a statement.

Tax collection agency Equitalia said finance police had seized the earrings at the clinic in northern Italy where Maradona checked in recently in a bid to lose weight.

It was not Maradona's first run-in with Italian tax authorities, who say he owes the country 31 million euros in back taxes from the time he played for top league club Napoli.

Maradona, who played for Napoli from 1984-1991 and is now the coach of Argentina's national team, says the club should have paid the taxes.

Three years ago, tax police took two Rolex watches from him when he was in Italy for a benefit match. In 2005 they seized his payout for participating in a TV dancing show and in 2001 he was met by 20 police officers as he got off a plane in Rome.

(Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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