Latin America & Caribbean

Diego Maradona 'accepts paternity of three children' in Cuba

Diego Maradona looking worried at a football match in Mexico, November 2018 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Maradona is in touch with his three children in Cuba

Argentina football legend Diego Maradona is to acknowledge paternity of three Cuban children, his lawyer says.

This means the 58-year-old World Cup winner, who once denied any children other than with his former wife, is now the official father of eight children.

Maradona will travel to Havana to take paternity tests and publicly recognise the children later this year, lawyer Matias Morla said.

The children, reportedly from two mothers, will be able to take his name.

Maradona spent several years in the country between 2000 and 2005 undergoing treatment for a cocaine habit.

He befriended then-President Fidel Castro during his stint in the country and got a tattoo of the leader's face on his leg.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Maradona struck up a friendship with the Communist leader during his time in Cuba

The former footballer is now working as coach at Mexican club Dorados de Sinaloa.

Maradona once denied having any children besides Giannina, 29, and Dalma, 31, both daughters of his ex-wife Claudia Villafañe, whom he divorced in 2003 after nearly 20 years of marriage.

However he has since recognised Diego Junior, 32, and Jana, 22, after court battles with their mothers.

Maradona also has another child, six-year-old Diego Fernando, from his relationship with Veronica Ojeda.

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