Maradona says he’s fine after health scare


ST PETERSBURG: Argentina soccer great Diego Maradona said on Wednesday he was fine after appearing to be taken ill during the South Americans’ roller-coaster World Cup win over Nigeria on Tuesday.

“I want to tell everyone that I am fine, that I am not, neither was I, interned,” Maradona said in an Instagram post, responding to a media report that he had been taken to the hospital.

“In the halftime of the game against Nigeria, my neck hurt a lot and I suffered a decompensation. I was checked by a doctor and he recommended me to go home before the second half, but I wanted to stay because we were risking it all. How could I leave? I send a kiss to everyone, thanks for the support!”

A video posted on Twitter after Tuesday’s game showed Maradona needing help to walk as Argentina survived in the World Cup thanks to a late goal.

During the game, Maradona drew attention with his antics in the stands — enjoying adulation from fans, seemingly falling asleep at one point, and making an obscene gesture with both hands after Marcos Rojo’s 86th-minute winner secured Argentina’s place in the last 16.

Maradona, now 57 and who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, has battled the cocaine addiction in the past. In 2015, he underwent a gastric bypass operation.