Maradona’s lawyer promises action over violation of funeral privacy

Photos emerge on social media of three funeral workers posing next to footballer’s open coffin

Diego Maradona’s body at the chapel of the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires. Photograph: Argentinian Presidency/AFP via Getty Images

Diego Maradona's agent and lawyer has vowed to take action after images emerged of three funeral workers posing next to the late Argentinian footballer's open coffin.

Maradona, who died from a heart attack in Argentina on Wednesday, was buried on Thursday after tens of thousands of fans filed past his body as it lay in state at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires.

Within hours of the small, private burial, photographs appeared on social media of the funeral home workers posing by his body. One showed a man in a white shirt and black tie standing over the coffin, giving a thumbs up, while another showed two men by Maradona’s body.

The owner of the funeral home said the family business had been devastated to discover what had happened, and insisted the three men pictured were not full-time employees.


“My dad is 75 and he’s crying,” Matías Picón, the manager of the Pinier funeral home, told Argentina’s TN news channel. “I’m crying. My brother’s crying, too. We’re all in pieces.”

Mr Picón said the man in the white shirt was a temporary worker who had been brought in to help because Maradona’s cedar coffin was heavy and hard to move.

He said all three workers had handed over their mobile phones while in the mortuary and the photographs had been taken when the body was waiting to be transported to the presidential palace.

On display

Mr Picón said he had called Maradona’s ex-wife, Claudia Villafañe, to explain what had happened.

“She was very angry and told me it never should have happened and that this wasn’t the photo they wanted,” he said. “I explained what had happened and said sorry.”

Maradona’s lawyer, Matías Morla, said he had identified the “piece of shit” who had taken the image of himself next to the coffin, adding: “For the sake of my friend’s memory, I will not rest until he pays for this outrage.”

Another friend of the late footballer has claimed that Maradona wanted to be embalmed so that his body could go on display, but that his family decided against the move.

“When the idea of a statue first came up, he said: ‘No, I want them to embalm me,’ ” Martín Arévalo told TyC sports.

Mr Arévalo confirmed the details of Maradona’s wishes, adding that the footballer had wanted “to remain with us forever and for people to carry on seeing his body”.

Two other towering figures in Argentina’s modern history – president Juan Perón and his wife, Eva Perón – were embalmed.

– Guardian/Reuters