Funeral workers fired over Maradona coffin photos

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Three funeral workers have been fired for posing for photos alongside the coffin of legend Diego Maradona shortly before his funeral on Thursday.

The images distributed across social media created outrage, even death threats across Argentina.

Tens of thousands lined up for a chance to file past his body at the nation’s presidential palace on Thursday.

Claudio Fernandez confirmed to Radio 10 on Friday that he’d lost his job at the Pinier funeral home, along with his son Ismael and Claudio Medina.

One of the images shows Fernandez and his son smiling and with thumb raised, alongside Maradona’s body in the coffin on Thursday.

Medina appears in another in the same pose.

Fernandez insisted that he hadn’t known they’d planned to take a photograph, much less distribute it.

“It was something instantaneous. I’d just raised my head and my son did it like any kid of 18-years-old,” he told the radio station.

He said he had been receiving threats from others living in the La Paternal neighborhood where Maradona debuted as a professional in 1976 with the Argentinos Juniors team.

“They know me. I’m from the neighbourhood,” Fernandez said. “They say they are going to kill us, break our heads.”

The team issued a statement saying it was considering expelling Fernandez from its membership rolls.

The three were hired by the funeral parlour to help prepare Maradona’s body and carry the coffin, according to Argentinian TV channel TN.

It said the manager Matias Picon was “devastated” and claimed the trio were not directly employed by them, and that they were “outsourced” by a third party.

Thousands of fans lined the streets of the city to pay their respects to the football legend, sparking clashes after many were unable to get a glimpse of the coffin.

Only family members and close friends attended the burial, and Maradona was laid to rest next to the graves of his parents, Dalma and Diego.

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By Ofhani Munyai

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