Why FIFA pays Diego Maradona £10,000 per day to appear at 2018 World Cup in Russia

Diego Maradona has outshone Argentina's progress to the knockout rounds with his behavior in Saint Petersburg in the win over the Super Eagles.

Maradona appeared to be intoxicated and admitted to being on white wine, while for a second time the icon made an offensive gesture.

Beforehand it was a racist gesture towards South Korea supporters, this time the former World Cup winner aimed a single-finger salute at fans, apparently of Nigeria, below him after Marcos Rojo's game winner.

You won’t believe FIFA are paying for the privilege of the controversial figure to attend their matches in Russia.

That privilege is costing FIFA £10,000 per day – and the rest: including travel, accommodation, and expenses.

That is part of FIFA President Gianni Infantino's legends idea, whereby iconic players are in attendance to see the current generation and remind viewers of historic moments of the past.

A good concept in theory and Maradona has certainly paid back that money in exchange for attention, though maybe not the kind that FIFA would want, though it is hard to think they had no idea what they were signing up for.

Maradona has had free reign at every match so far, taking up the best seat in the stadium, puffing away on cigars, making obscene gestures, and becoming so intoxicated that he needed to be carried out of his seat in the Nigeria match.

Maradona is without doubt attracting attention, just that it is the wrong kind for FIFA's esteemed event.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago

Greg is a Sports content writer. He has many years of experience in Sports Writing. He was a writer for Opera News and is Editor-in-Chief at GoalBall.