BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Argentina's soccer superstar Diego Maradona appeared in a Beijing court Friday, suing two Chinese Internet firms over the unauthorized use of his image in an online soccer game.
The Beijing Municipal No. 2 Intermediate People's Court heard the case against Beijing Sina Internet Information Service Co., Ltd -- operator of the country's portal Sina.com -- and Shanghai No. 9 City Information Technology Co., Ltd.
Maradona showed up at the hearing, court sources said.
The 51-year-old soccer phenomenon accused the two firms of running an online gaming site "Hot Blooded Soccer" using his cartoon image and his name without his consent, sources said. Maradona is seeking 20 million yuan (3.2 million U.S. dollars) in compensation.
Details of the trial are not yet available.
Maradona's cartoon picture -- in a white-striped blue Argentinean national team shirt and with eyes rolling up -- could still be found at the game's website qiuqiu.9c.com, on Friday.
The lawsuit may not be the only item on Maradona's agenda during his visit to China this week. The Argentinean sports daily "Ole" reported last month that the former World Cup winner "met in Dubai with envoys from a Chinese club and is enthusiastic about the idea of coaching over there."
In July, Maradona was fired from his post as coach of the United Arab Emirates' Al Wasl FC, after a season with little success.
During a discussion with a soccer official at the State General Administration of Sport, on Thursday, Maradona said he was interested in coming to China to help train young soccer players and act as an envoy for China-Argentina soccer exchange.
But neither Maradona nor Wei Di, the soccer official, answered reporters' questions on whether the Mexico 1986 Soccer World Cup champion would get a coaching job in China any time soon.