Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has sparked fury after a picture circulated of him purportedly grinning and holding a rare dead animal in one hand and a rifle in the other, report the Daily Mail and Marca.
The 56-year-old - who was FIFA’s joint player of the 20th century alongside Pele - is seen holding an Arabian oryx, sparking outcry.
It is not clear whether Maradona, who is brandishing a huge rifle in his right hand, killed the animal himself, and the footballing legend is yet to comment on the controversy.
The picture has yet to be verified, yet has caused a major outcry in South America.
Argentine newspaper Clarin has pointed out that the species is in danger of extinction.
Nicknamed Pibe de oro, or Golden Child, Maradona, who is widely considered as one of the greatest players ever, is a hero in his homeland, where he was pivotal in Argentina’s victory at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Earlier this month a video emerged of him running and dancing on a treadmill as he endeavoured to get fit for the festive period.