Diego Maradona is at the centre of a new controversy regarding a forged signature allegedly signed by his former assistant.
Maradona is said to be prepared to sue two Chinese companies, Sina
and The 9 Limited
, after they used his image and name without permission for their football game, 'Hot Blooded Soccer'. It was assumed that they had received an authorised signature from the former Argentina manager, but Maradona claimed he never signed the agreement.
Some Chinese media sources have reported that The 9 Limited
has sent a letter of apology Maradona, explaining that the deal was handled by a Chinese agent named Lu Weiping. The agent claimed that Maradona had signed the contract.
However, according to Minuto1, Maradona feels that a letter won't suffice, and he insists on claiming compensation of ￥20m for infringement of image rights after the Chinese courts declared that the signature was forged.
It is alleged that the blame lies with Maradona's former friend and assisant at the 2010 World Cup, Alejandro Mancuso. A representative of the games company said that they approached Mancuso with the contract after the World Cup, under the assumption that he was representing Maradona.
The same representative then claimed that the contract was delivered by hand to Mancuso's house, and was returned to them containing the (now deemed false) signature.
Maradona is currently looking for new employers after being sacked by Al Wasl in July following a poor first season in charge of the Dubai club, and is reportly keen to manage in China.