The body of late soccer great Diego Maradona “must be conserved” in case his DNA is needed in a paternity case, an Argentine court ruled.
Maradona died of a heart attack last month and was buried on November 26 in a cemetery just outside Buenos Aires.
While Maradona’s lawyer had previously told Reuters that DNA samples already exist, the court said the former Boca Juniors and Napoli player’s body must not be cremated at some later date.
Five recognised children and six with filiation requests are part of a complex inheritance process in Argentina.
One of the six, Magalí Gil, 25, says she found out two years ago that the soccer icon was her biological father.
The ruling from the National Court of First Instance in Civil Matters No. 56 also said: “Ms. Gil requests that a study be carried out … and that for this purpose the acting prosecutor’s office send a DNA sample.”
Maradona recognised four children in Argentina and one in Italy, which he had during his time as a player in the country.
A long-forgotten container with hundreds of items of memorabilia from the career of late Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona could provide a treasure trove for collectors – and open a new front in the contest over his estate.
Shirts signed by Sergio Aguero, Ronaldo Nazario, Harry Kane and Hristo Stoichkov are among the memorabilia in the container, which had been in storage on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, along with balls from Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors and a plaque given to him by soccer’s governing body FIFA.
There are also shirts worn by Maradona himself, as well as political momentos received as gifts from the leftist leaders he so admired.
One Brazil shirt has the name Lula on the back, in reference to the former Brazilian president, and there is a letter from the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
“You have overcome the most difficult of tests for an athlete and a young man of humble origins,” Castro wrote to the soccer player, who spent several years in Cuba recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Maradona died last month from a heart attack, aged 60.
Meanwhile, the existence of the container with hundreds of items inside was brought to the attention of judicial authorities and the contents have been catalogued by officials, a source close to Maradona’s family said.
“There is only one key to the container and it is with judicial officials,” the source said.
The booty could turbocharge the legal battles under way over the spoils of an estate that Forbes magazine estimated was worth between $10 million and $40 million.
An American expert last month told Reuters the shirt worn by the Argentine when he scored his famous “Hand Of God” goal against England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico could be worth up to $2 million.
Maradona is also known to have left real estate, luxury cars and jewels accrued during time spent playing and coaching in Argentina, Spain, Italy, the UAE, Belarus and Mexico.