Three funeral workers have been fired for posing for photos next to the body of football star Diego Maradona shortly before his funeral.
The images circulated via social media sparked outrage, even death threats, in a country that revered Maradona, who died of a heart attack at the age of 60 on Wednesday. Tens of thousands lined up for a chance to get past his body at the nation’s presidential palace on Friday (NZT).
Claudio Fernández confirmed to Radio Diez that he had lost his job at Pinier funeral home, along with his son Ismael and Claudio Medina.
One of the images shows Fernández and his son – smiling and with their thumbs raised – next to Maradona’s body in the coffin on Friday. Medina appears in another in the same pose.
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Fernández insisted he hadn’t known they were planning to take a photo, let alone distribute it. It was an instant thing. I had just lifted my head and my son was doing it like any 18 year old kid, ”he told the radio station.
He said he had received threats from others living in the El Paternal neighborhood, where Maradona made his debut as a professional with the Argentinos Juniors team in 1976.
“They know me. I’m from the neighborhood,” said Fernández. “They say they’re going to kill us, break our heads.”
The team released a statement saying it was considering removing Fernández from his membership roles.