3 funeral workers fired over Maradona coffin photos

A giant poster of Fidel Castro and a banner depicting Diego Maradona hang in front of Cuba's Embassy during a memorial ceremony paying tribute to Castro and Maradona, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

Three funeral workers have been fired for posing for photos alongside the body of soccer star Diego Maradona shortly before his funeral.

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The images distributed across social media created outrage, even death threats, across a nation that venerated Maradona, who died Wednesday of a heart attack at age 60. Tens of thousands lined up for a chance to file past his body at the nation’s presidential palace on Thursday.

Claudio Fernez confirmed to Radio Diez that he’d lost his job at the Pinier funeral home, along with his son Ismael and Claudio Medina.

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One of the images shows Fernez and his son — smiling and with thumb raised — alongside Maradona’s body in the coffin on Thursday. Medina appears in another in the same pose.

Ferez insisted that he hadn’t known they’d planned to take a photograph, much less distribute it. “It was something instantaneous. I’d just raised my head and my son did it like any kid of 18,” he told the radio station.

He said he had been receiving threats from others living in the El Paternal neighborhood where Maradona debuted as a professional in 1976 with the Argentinos Juniors team.

“They know me. I’m from the neighborhood,” Fernez said. “They say they are going to kill us, break our heads”. The team issued a statement saying it was considering expelling Fernez from its membership rolls.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 1:01:34 PM |

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