ROME (AP) - Italy's tax collection agency has threatened to sue lawyers for Diego Maradona, who claims he had won his 20-year battle over tax debts.
Maradona lawyer Angelo Pisani says his client won the dispute and "can now return to Italy as a free man."
But the collection agency, the Agenzia delle Entrate, issued a statement saying that it had not "annulled, declared extinct, nor modified" Maradona's debts, and that "to the contrary" it had rejected a request from the Argentine.
The agency adds that it will evaluate if there are grounds to sue for damages.
Maradona's Italian debts of more than $50 million stem from alleged unpaid taxes during the time he played for Napoli from 1984-91.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.