Argentina football legend Diego Armando Maradona has offered a whooping sum of $10,000 as reward to fish out the author of WhatsApp audio messages which started rumours that he was dead.
According to the WhatsApp voice messages from a man with an Argentine accent, Maradona, 57, was said to have been hospitalized and had died of cardiac arrest.
The news of the $10,000 reward was revealed by Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla while he was speaking with Argentina’s Clarin daily from Russia on Thursday.
In his words via the nation.com.pk, Morla said: “I gave instructions to make public the decision to offer a reward of 300,000 pesos (around $10,000) to anyone who can provide true and accurate information about the author of the audios.”
Former Argentina captain and manager Maradona had felt unwell and had to be helped from his seat during the 2-1 win over Nigeria in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Group D clash played on Tuesday night.
The 1986 World Cup winner, however, denied widespread reports of ill health the day after by telling reporters that: “I’m perfect. I’ve never been better.”
According to his lawyer, Maradona suffered “a spike” in blood pressure during the game and shouldn’t have watched the second half.
Morla said: “It’s a subject that at one time alarmed him. It’s no secret how he lives through a game. How he lived them as a player is how he lives them as a fan.”
“The doctors told him to rest, not to stay for the second half of the Argentina-Nigeria match, but asking that of Maradona is like asking a son not to love his mother.
“For Diego, the team is Dona Tota (his mother), and he will never let her on her own.” He added.
Matias Morla also revealed that one of Maradona’s sisters had been a victim of the fake death news.
“Maradona’s sisters heard the news, they could not communicate with me nor with their brother, and one of them suffered a weakness, and the truth is that we cannot let such an outrage go by,” Morla told Clarin.