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Maradona offers £8,000 to find the man who 'killed' him: Football star takes drastic action after false rumours spread that he had died after watching Argentina play Nigeria

  • Maradona sparked fears after being seen by medics at St Petersburg Stadium 
  • Argentinian later blamed his extraordinary behaviour on a white wine binge 
  • Four-figure reward to find person who spread fake news Diego had died



Diego Maradona is offering a four-figure reward to identify the person who tried to fool the world into believing he was dead.
The football legend has promised more than £8,000 through his lawyer to anyone who can help him unmask the man responsible for killing him off and forcing him to put out a statement confirming he was alive but had overdone it on the white wine.
The 57-year-old sparked fears for his well-being when he was helped away from his VIP box and assisted by medical staff after seeing Argentina avoid an early World Cup exit on Tuesday with a dramatic late goal against Nigeria.
Two Spanish-language recordings which have gone viral - recorded by the same man and released shortly after the match - claimed the 57-year-old had suffered a fatal heart attack. 
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Diego Maradona has blamed a white wine binge for his extraordinary behaviour at a World Cup clash last night when he stunned millions of TV viewers with a snarling one-fingered salute. He later declared 'I am fine' after fears were raised for his health on Tuesday night
Diego Maradona has blamed a white wine binge for his extraordinary behaviour at a World Cup clash last night when he stunned millions of TV viewers with a snarling one-fingered salute. He later declared 'I am fine' after fears were raised for his health on Tuesday night
When Argentina secured a 2-1 victory with a dramatic late winner, cameras focussed on the 57-year-old as he angrily gave the middle finger to fans below his seat in the stadium's VIP area
When Argentina secured a 2-1 victory with a dramatic late winner, cameras focussed on the 57-year-old as he angrily gave the middle finger to fans below his seat in the stadium's VIP area
Argentina's Diego Maradona is carried indoors at World Cup stadium


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One said an adrenaline injection to his heart had failed to save him and the Argentinian squad were yet to be told he had passed away in hospital.
A second 42-second recording, a WhatsApp message sent to a mystery man called Mati by someone passing himself off as an Argentinian sports journalist based in Russia, added: 'They are only going to be announcing the news tomorrow. It's a family decision.'
Maradona had to phone his partner Rocio Oliva as he returned to Moscow on a private jet in the early hours of Wednesday morning to prove he was still alive and refute the heart attack reports.

He also sent a WhatsApp message to journalist friend Daniel Arcucci, saying he had simply drunk too much white wine and insisting: 'I swear on the lives of my mum, my grandson Benjamin and my son Dieguito Fernando's life that nothing happened.'
One of Maradona's sisters is said to have collapsed after hearing the fake news Diego had died and trying without success to reach him. 
The soccer star's long-standing lawyer Matias Morla told Argentinian daily Clarin: 'I've just spoken to my office in Buenos Aires and I have instructed them to make public the decision to offer a reward of 300,000 Argentinian pesos (£8,340) to the person who provides accurate and precise information about the author of the voice messages.
'When it comes to technological issues like these, I think we can get to the bottom of this.  

Social media users have highlighted what they claimed was a suspicious-looking white residue smudged on the glass barrier in front of him – but it could just as easily have been harmless stains or fingerprints or on the surface 
At one stage it all seemed too much for Maradona as he appeared to fall asleep in his seat
At one stage it all seemed too much for Maradona as he appeared to fall asleep in his seat
'But especially if there's a financial incentive, someone who knows how something started often ends up revealing it and helping to unmask whoever was behind an atrocity like this.
'It was a very long night. I was in Belarus for work reasons and helping to organise Diego's travel arrangements.
'But Maradona's sisters heard the news and couldn't contact me or their brother. One of them ended up collapsing.
'We can't let things like this go unanswered.' 
In an interview on on Telesur's 'De La Mano del 10' programme, Maradona said: 'It makes me a bit angry, because my sister, yesterday she made me whistle on the phone to see if I was okay, and I went (whistles)...
Maradona appeared on Telesur's 'De La Mano del 10' programme to prove he is very much still alive 
Maradona appeared on Telesur's 'De La Mano del 10' programme to prove he is very much still alive 
He showed the cameras how his sister made him whistle to prove he was okay 
He showed the cameras how his sister made him whistle to prove he was okay 
The football legend insisted he is 'very well taken care of' 
The football legend insisted he is 'very well taken care of' 
'My brother in Italy, my nephew in the United States were worried, because of course the bad news travels much faster than the good news.
'I am very much alive, and very well taken care of.'
Maradona's daughter Dalma described the fake social media reports about her dad's death as 'miserable' on Wednesday.
She raged on Twitter: 'I haven't heard them but they told me what they said. They are false. There's obviously some very twisted people out there.
'Don't help them go viral. If you do, you should know they tell lies.'  
Sports journalist Daniel Arcucci, who posted the voice recording Maradona sent him to his Twitter site as well as the one he sent Rocio, added: 'Maradona's truth doesn't come from some leaked voice message of dubious origin.
'It's what Diego told Rocio when she called him for a second time because she was worried about the rumours he had died which were still doing the rounds.'