Former soccer star Diego Armando Maradona was unable to leave Argentina due to his passport being stolen, local media reported on Monday.
It happened late on Sunday evening when the 1986 World Cup champion tried to board a flight from Buenos Aires to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where he currently works as a sports ambassador.
According to Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla, the passport “was not expired” and “was reported as stolen,” despite Maradona carrying it in his hand.
“What happened was very strange. He entered Argentina with a valid passport, in fact you cannot leave Dubai with an expired passport, it has to be valid for longer than three months (from the date you travel). However, yesterday when he wanted to leave, it was reported as stolen,” Morla told local radio station La Red in Buenos Aires on Monday.
“According to Diego, this happened after he made a statement against the (Argentine) government. I do not want to irrefutably prove it but it is very weird,” said Morla.
After spending several days in Argentina, the former national soccer coach in South Africa 2010 was due to return to Dubai to continue with the role he has had since 2012.
During his stay in Argentina, Maradona met with his son Diego Junior (Diego Armando Maradona Sinagra) for the first time officially. The 29-year-old Italian soccer and beach soccer player was a result of an affair between the soccer legend and Cristiana Sinagra while Maradona was married to his now ex-wife Claudia Villafane. The soccer legend only recognized Sinagra in 2007 despite an Italian court recognizing his paternity back in 1993.