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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 21:25 GMT 22:25 UK
Maradona 'needs psychiatric help'
TV crews await news on Maradona outside the clinic in Buenos Aires
TV crews and fans have been watching and waiting for news
Argentine former football star Diego Maradona may be moved to a psychiatric clinic to help him deal with his alcohol addiction, doctors have said.

The 46-year-old returned to a Buenos Aires hospital with abdominal pains last Friday - just 48 hours after he was released following a 10-day stay.

He has been treated for acute toxic hepatitis related to alcohol abuse.

Maradona, who led the Argentine team to victory in the 1986 World Cup, has battled cocaine addiction and obesity.

His personal doctor, Alfredo Cahe, said doctors had persuaded Maradona to undergo alcohol abuse rehabilitation at a psychiatric treatment centre.

Speaking on Argentine radio, he said: "Diego is becoming aware of how serious what has happened to him is. We've told him everything.

"He didn't have any idea how the alcohol had affected him, beyond the severe abdominal pains... that he blacked out, that he was in shock, the vomiting."

History of addiction

Dr Cahe has said Maradona will probably need treatment for alcoholism for the rest of his life.

Maradona lifts the World Cup in 1986
Maradona: One of the greatest players of the 20th Century
According to media reports, Maradona would be taken to the Abril clinic which specialises in treating addictions, possibly early next week.

The former Argentine team captain is still idolised in his home country, and his fans have been watching and waiting for news.

In 1991 he was banned from playing football for 15 months after failing a drugs test. He tested positive again for banned drugs at the 1994 World Cup in the US.

He retired from competitive sport in 1997. In 2000, and again in 2004, he collapsed with heart problems and was taken to hospital.

Two years ago, he had a stomach stapling operation. He lost 30kg (66lb) and began playing football again.

But recently, Argentine media reported he had put on weight and was considering another slimming cure.

In March, Argentina's central bank said it was investigating him for alleged financial irregularities.


SEE ALSO
Maradona released from hospital
11 Apr 07 |  Americas
Maradona 'improving' in hospital
04 Apr 07 |  Americas
Inquiry into Maradona's finances
07 Mar 07 |  Americas
Five days with Diego
30 Apr 06 |  Football
Maradona arrested at Rio airport
22 Dec 05 |  Americas
Maradona stands by 'Hand of God'
23 Aug 05 |  Americas

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