BUENOS AIRES: Diego Maradona, one of the old stars to declare an unlikely interest in the FIFA presidency, has been accused of fraud by his former wife , Claudia Villafane.

A court in Buenos Aires heard Villafane, 52 – accompanied by daughter Giannina – claim that Maradona had embezzled almost $6m which has vanished from his bank accounts.

Maradona, 54, was not present during proceedings but sent a message via a television program, saying that he wanted his money back.

He stated: “All I want is my money. I did not denounce anybody when I was robbed and I will not do so now. All I want is my money. I will not put forward any names as I have never done that. However, if they do not give me back my money, they will be sorry.”

Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning inspiration and captain also advised Gianinna and Dalma, his two daughters with Villafane, and Jana, his daughter from an extra-marital affair, that they should “remain calm”.

The row between Maradona and his ex-wife, to whom he was married from 1998 and 2003, erupted when he claimed the sum had disappeared from his accounts.

According to Infobae, an investigation last year revealed that Villafane owns three apartments in an exclusive Miami tower worth $2m each and has $3m in a bank in Uruguay, which had not been declared to authorities.

However, Villafane’s lawyer, Fernando Burlando, called a press conference in which he maintained his client’s innocence and pointed the fnger of blame at Maradona, saying: “If there was any tax evasion, the responsibility lies with the one who was paying that tax, which was not Claudia Villafane.”