The body of late soccer great Diego Maradona “must be conserved” in case his DNA is needed in a paternity case, an Argentine court has ruled, halting cremation plans.
Maradona died of a heart attack last month and was buried on Nov. 26 in a cemetery just outside Buenos Aires.
While Maradona’s lawyer had previously told news agencies 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 others who claim to be children of Maradona are part of a complex inheritance process in Argentina.
One of the six, Magali Gil, 25, says she found out two years ago that the soccer icon was her biological father.
Gil, who was adopted, says her birth mother contacted her two years ago to say that her father “may be Diego Maradona”.
In a video posted on Instagram, Gil said it was a “universal right” to know “if Diego Maradona is my biological father or not”.
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. He left behind a complicated financial legacy which is being fought over by his recognised children and those who are currently going through the courts seeking recognition.
His death caused huge shock not only in his native Argentina but around the world with hundreds of thousands of fans gathering to pay their tributes.