Argentine football fans are convinced that Diego Maradona is back on cocaine as the retired professional footballer's role as a paid ambassador for Fifa has come under scrutiny.

Maradona sparked the social media conspiracy after he collapsed while celebrating Argentina's dramatic late win over Nigeria in the Fifa World Cup.

The 57-year-old gave an erratic performance from his VIP box and was left needing emergency medical treatment.

The governing body is understood to have taken note of Maradona's latest antics during Argentina's nail-biting victory, although it would not comment on whether they would have any impact on his official duties.


Maradona, said to earn £10,000 (NZ$19,225) plus expenses for any event he attends in his capacity as a Fifa ambassador, reacted to Marcos Rojo's winning goal on Tuesday night with a double one-finger salute.

He also appeared the worse for wear while watching the Group D game in an executive box at the St Petersburg, before suffering what he said was a brief fainting episode that required medical attention.

Maradona played down Tuesday's health scare claiming that a wine binge caused his collapse.

Posting on Facebook, Maradona wrote, "I want to tell everyone that I am fine, and I was not taken to hospital. At half-time, my neck hurt a lot and I had a faint."

"I was checked by a doctor and he recommended me to go home before the second half, but I wanted to stay because we were risking it all. How could I leave? I send a kiss to everyone, thanks for the support!"

But fans weren't convinced after new footage and images emerged suggesting the former international football player was taking recreational drugs.

Images from Maradona's VIP box showed snow white powder residue on the glass and balcony while a video showed the Argentinian seemingly out of it as a fan tried to get close.

Fans have since taken to social media to express their thoughts, some labelling the images as "historic".


"Maradona celebrating a huge Leo Messi goal in the World Cup with cocaine residue all over the glass ... This photo is historic," one fan wrote.

Another video, taken last week on a private jet, also circulated on social media and appears to show Maradona, who is drinking a shot, sat next to a bag of suspicious white powder.