The body of the legendary Diego Maradona must be conserved to allow for DNA analysis for any pending paternity cases following his death last month at the age of 60, it was ruled by an Argentine court on Wednesday.
Maradona passed away last month after suffering a heart attack and was buried on November 26 in a cemetery just outside of Buenos Aires.
Legal representatives for the 1986 World Cup winner have outlined that samples of Maradona’s DNA already exist, but nonetheless the court said that the body of the former Napoli and Barcelona star must not be cremated.
Maradona presently has five children but there are understood to be up to six further people filing paperwork to say they are children of the deceased football star. Of those six, Magalí Gil, 25, said that she only found out that Maradona was her father two years ago.
Maradona, though, had officially recognized as having five children – four in Argentina and one in Italy, which came during his several seasons with Napoli in the 1980s.
The claims come amid a complex inheritance process currently underway in Maradona’s native country.
“Ms. Gil requests that a study be carried out … and that for this purpose the acting prosecutor’s office send a DNA sample,” a ruling from the National Court of First Instance in Civil Matters stated.
Meanwhile, a further dynamic to the inheritance claims surrounding Maradona’s extended family has appeared after a bonanza of memorabilia from Maradona’s career was discovered.
A collection of shirts signed by the likes of Sergio Aguero, Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Hristo Stoichkov are among numerous collector’s items discovered in storage near Buenos Aires. Also included were footballs from Maradona’s spells in Spain and Italy, as well as a letter to Maradona from former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
The items are currently being catalogued and could potentially lead to another front being opened in what is threatening to be a contentious inheritance battle.