WARNING: The following article contains images that some readers may find offensive.
Funeral workers in Argentina have received death threats after taking photos with Diego Maradona’s body.
The football legend died on Wednesday at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack at his home outside Buenos Aires.
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Tens of thousands filed past Maradona’s body on Thursday as the sporting icon was farewelled by friends, family and the general public.
Argentines were left disgusted earlier in the day when two photos emerged on social media showing funeral workers posing for photos with Maradona’s body.
One man can be seen giving a thumbs up as his other hand rests on Maradona’s head, while the other shows a younger man smiling and also giving a thumbs up.
The manager of the Sepelios Pinier funeral parlour has since spoken of his disgust, saying the men were “outsourced employees”.
“My father is 75 years old and he is crying, I am crying, my brother too, we are destroyed,” Picon told TN.
“He is not an employee here, he is a third party who only helped us load the coffin because it weighs a lot.
“The family chose a cedar box that is very difficult to transport and that is why we summoned him, just to carry the box.
“The three outsourced employees that we called and appear in the images, we took away their mobile phones in the morgue.
“We gave them back when all the work had been finished and at that moment, which was when the police called me to organise the transfer, that’s when they did it.”
Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla vowed to take legal action.
“To protect the memory of my friend I won’t rest until he pays for such an atrocity,” Morla wrote.
The men have reportedly been sent death threats, with some calling for their Argentinian citizenship to be stripped.
They have also reportedly been sacked by their employer.
There’s this disgusting picture of someone taking a selfie with Maradona in the coffin why would anyone do that???😢
— Kac (@UtdKacpxrr) November 26, 2020
If that picture of Maradona on Facebook is real then that's absolutely disgusting whoever took it and the 2 blokes who posed.
— Jamie Morgan (@JamieMorgan1989) November 26, 2020
How disrespectful and sickening! 3 funeral workers posed next to Maradona's body inside his coffin while they were preparing his body for the wake. 2 of them were giving a thumps-up. Maradona's lawyer has vowed to take legal action. https://t.co/M04iMLPvUb
— Frank Pachas (@frankplc82) November 26, 2020
@NOLEmexicofans @NovakFanClub or whoever who's native is Spanish - please find me an article in English about ppl who took a pics with Maradona in coffin. Among them the owner of this funeral company who got fired after that.
Necrofilic 🤦🏽♂️ Pictures are beyond disgusting.
— Misha 🇦🇸🎷 (@abisinacki) November 26, 2020
Thousands farewell Maradona in violent scenes
Fans singing soccer anthems, some draped in the national flag, formed a line more than 20 blocks long stretching from the Plaza de Mayo where Argentines gathered to celebrate the Maradona-led triumph in the 1986 World Cup.
But with the time for viewing the coffin at the nation’s presidential palace drawing short, police moved to cut off the back end of the crowd, enraging fans who hurled rocks and other objects at police, who responded with rubber bullets.
While the scenario was that of a state funeral, a casket laid out in the presidential palace, the atmosphere often was that of a soccer stadium - chanting, singing, pushing and the occasional whiff of alcohol.
Fans wept and blew kisses as they passed Maradona's wooden casket, some striking their chests with closed fists and shouting, “Let's go Diego.”
It was draped with the Argentinian flag and shirts bearing his famed number 10 from the national team and the club side Boca Juniors, with other jerseys tossed around it by passing admirers.
Open visitation began after a few hours of privacy for family and close friends.
The first to bid farewell were his daughters and close family members. His ex-wife Claudia Villafane came with Maradona’s daughters Dalma and Gianinna. Later came Veronica Ojeda, also his ex-wife, with their son Dieguito Fernando.
Jana, who Maradona recognised as his daughter only a few years ago, also attended the funeral.
Then came former teammates of the 1986 World Cup-winning squad including Oscar Ruggeri. Other Argentine footballers, such as Boca Juniors' Carlos Tevez, also attended.
Early in the morning some fans grew impatient as police tried to maintain order, throwing bottles and pieces of metal fencing at police outside the presidential offices in the heart of Buenos Aires. Officers at one point used tear gas to try to control them.
Argentina President Alberto Fernandez appeared at midday and placed on the casket a shirt of Argentinos Juniors, where Maradona started his career in 1976.
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