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Why is Fifa paying Maradona £10k per match during the World Cup?

  • Published at 05:02 pm June 30th, 2018
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Former Argentina forward Diego Maradona celebrates the opening goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018 AFP

The Argentine legend has barely been out of the spotlight throughout the entire tournament, causing controversy along the way

Diego Maradona was destined to bring controversy and tragicomedy to Russia, but that did not stop Fifa paying him £10,000 a day to attend the tournament.

The legendary Argentine footballer has been spotted at every Argentina match so far in Russia - and is getting paid for the privilege, according to Esquire.

The 1986 World Cup winner has been a mix of enjoyment and crazy antics in the stands during the tournament, including making a racist gesture to a group of South Korean fans.

According to a report by The Sun, Fifa is shelling out £10,000 per match to have the Argentine legend in attendance, coming as part of Fifa President Gianni Infantino's legends scheme.

The former Uefa general secretary wants at least one former superstar from each nation at the World Cup to provide an ambassadorial role in their country's games.

The concept is to mix the past and the present, hoping plenty of exposure warrants their pay checks, while travel and accommodation expenses are paid for.

And Maradona is certainly meeting his quota, becoming of figure of hilarity and controversy.

Retired Argentina player Diego Maradona (C) gestures during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018 AFP

It did not take long for Maradona to make headlines, smoking a cigar during Argentina's first match against Iceland, despite it being a “tobacco-free World Cup”.

In the same game, Maradona was spotted stretching his eyes to the side in a racial gesture to some South Korean fans, who had only called out his name “Diego”.

In the final match, he was seen swearing at the crowd after Marcos Rojo scored the winner against Nigeria that sent Argentina through to the knockout stages.

That was followed by him being carried out and rushed to the hospital after he binged on too much wine.