Argentine great Diego Maradona attended a Beijing court hearing Friday which was considering his $US3.2 million ($3 million) image rights claim against two Chinese Internet companies, state media has said.
Maradona has accused the companies of using his name and picture for an online gaming site without asking his permission, news agency Xinhua said.
A Beijing court heard the case against Beijing Sina Internet Information Service Co Ltd - operator of one of China's largest internet portals Sina.com - and Shanghai No. 9 City Information Technology Co Ltd, it said.
A cartoon image of Maradona in his Argentine blue and white-striped national team shirt could still be found at the game's website qiuqiu.9c.com, on Friday morning, Xinhua added.
However, it appeared to have been removed later in the day when AFP checked.
Maradona's agent in China, Tang Qinghui, told AFP that she could not comment on the case.
However, sources told Xinhua that the 51-year-old is seeking 20 million yuan in compensation.
Tang said Maradona is in China to discuss with football officials how the game can be developed in the country at grassroots level.
But there has been speculation in the Chinese media that he is being lined up to become coach of the national team.
The former coach of Argentina and United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl held meetings with top Chinese Football Association officials on Thursday.
"They did not talk about the national coach job," Tang told AFP.
"Maradona just wants to see football in China develop, and to particularly help young footballers."
Everton is bidding to widen its global appeal by supporting a Chinese reality television programme offering trips to attend the club's academy as a prize.