Workers fired over dead Maradona photos
Three funeral home workers have been fired after taking photos alongside the dead body of the late football legend, Diego Maradona.
Maradona, the Argentinian soccer legend, died Thursday at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack at his home in a private residential estate in the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
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The workers were supposed to be preparing Maradona's body for the wake when they instead stopped to pose for a picture with a thumbs up next to the coffin. The owner of Sepelios Pinier funeral parlour in Buenos Aires told local media the three individuals were "outsourced employees".
Claudio Fernández confirmed to Radio Diez that he'd lost his job at the Pinier funeral home, along with his son Ismael and Diego Molina.
One of the images shows Fernández and his son - smiling and with thumb raised - alongside Maradona's body in the coffin. Medina appears in another in the same pose.
The images quickly whipped around social media, drawing severe backlash from enraged fans with those in the photos receiving death threats. Claudio begged for forgiveness.
"We were getting ready to take Diego to the wake and my son, being a typical youngster, made the thumbs-up sign and had his photo taken," he told the radio station.
"I ask for everyone's forgiveness. I've worked for Maradona's father and his brother-in-law.
"I've been close to Diego while he was alive. I would never have disrespected him while he was alive because he was my idol and it was not my intention after he died.
"I know a lot of people have been very offended and have taken it badly. I know it upset them. I ask all of them to forgive us."
RELATED: Maradona's last words revealed
Maradona's lawyer Matias Morla has threatened legal action and named Molina via his personal Twitter account.
After seeing the first photo circulate around social media, Morla wrote: "Given the viralization of an image of Diego on his deathbed, I am going to personally take care of finding the scoundrel who took that photograph. All those responsible for such an act of cowardice will pay."
Fifteen minutes later he tweeted a photo of Molina along with the following message: "Diego Molina is the scoundrel who took a photo next to Diego Maradona's coffin. For the memory of my friend I will not rest until I pay for such an aberration."
Diego Molina es el canalla que se sacó una foto junto al féretro de Diego Maradona. Por la memoria de mí amigo no voy a descansar hasta que pague por semejante aberración. pic.twitter.com/UtUk8tQHlw— MATIAS MORLA (@MatiasMorlaAb) November 26, 2020
Matias Picon, the funeral home manager was left devastated by the incident and said he wasn't sure if the Maradona family would take legal action or not.
"We are devastated," Mr Picón, told the TN news channel. "The family trusted us, we have been working with them for a long time."
"The family has total confidence in us, that's why we are so affected.
"My father is 75 years old and he is crying, I am crying, my brother too, we are destroyed."
Tributes poured in for the football legend from all corners of the globe. The larger than life figure both on and off the pitch will long be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever grace the world game.
The 60-year-old deeply flawed legend died of a heart attack on Thursday, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage told AFP.
Morla released a stinging statement on Thursday night, criticising the medical care before his death, claiming the first ambulance took half an hour to arrive as attempts to revive the football great failed. He branded the delay "criminal idiocy".
"Today is a day of deep pain, sadness and reflection," he wrote.
"I feel in my heart the departure of a friend whom I honoured with my loyalty and companionship until his last days. I made my farewell with him in person and the wake should be an intimate occasion.
"It is inexplicable that for 12 hours my friend has not had attention or control from the legal health personnel.
"The ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive, which was CRIMINAL IDIOCY.
"This fact should not be overlooked and I am going to ask that the consequences be investigated until the end. As Diego said, 'You are my soldier, act without mercy'."
RELATED: Maradona's sad final years exposed
It was revealed on Thursday the legend's final words before he died were: "I don't feel well."
Originally published as Workers fired over dead Maradona photos