Argentine legend Diego Maradona has accused clubs of using the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to treat players like slaves.

The Hand of God decided to add his voice to the debate over footballer’s earnings during the pandemic after former Premier League favourite Carlos Tevez claimed players could afford to go a year without wages.

But World Cup-winning skipper Maradona, who is currently coach of Gimnasia de La Plata, believes some clubs are using the covid-19 as an excuse not to pay what they can afford.

Maradona, 59, said: “There are players, who don’t have to be paid – that is true and we all know it.

“But there are also players who can’t play for free – even for a month – and the clubs should pay them.

“But there are some clubs who are now playing stupid and want to take advantage of this moment to avoid paying.

“They have treated players like slaves for years.

“It seems there are some clubs who always have a pandemic.

“They should not be looking for excuses now because players still have to eat.”

Maradona has offered to set up a fund to help players and coaches who have been left in a financial limbo by the suspension of games.

He added: “The players who were lucky enough to earn a lot of money throughout their career should put together a common fund to help.

“For my part, I am willing to meet with fellow coaches to help other coaches come through this.

“This is done in solidarity because many of the youngsters are broke.

“Today is the time for them to have the support they deserve and for clubs to guarantee their wages.”

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