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Maradona could be behind Britain fire scare

January 12, 2009 | 10:07 am

Argentina soccer hero Diego Maradona, famed in Britain for his “Hand of God” goal against England during the 1986 World Cup, could have been the cause of a fire scare in Manchester, England, over the weekend  before the Chelsea club was due to take on Manchester United.

According to Tribal Football, Maradona's love of Cuban cigars was said to be behind the evacuation of Manchester's Radisson Edwardian Hotel at 7 a.m. Sunday, just nine hours before kickoff at Old Trafford.

After the hotel's smoke alarms went off, Chelsea's players had to wait outside in bitterly cold conditions for 40 minutes before they could return to their rooms. Chelsea went on to be defeated by Manchester United 3-0. Argentina coach Maradona was in Manchester to watch Carlos Tevez, a striker from his own team who plays for Manchester United.

The British newspaper The Sun quotes a firefighter at the scene saying: "It looks as though it was set off by Diego and his entourage smoking cigars on the 14th floor."

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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