Maradona’s body ‘must be conserved and not cremated’ as DNA may be needed in paternity case

A paternity case has led to an Argentinian court ruling that Diego Maradona’s body must not be cremated in future.

The football legend’s remains “must be conserved” in case samples of his DNA are needed, said the court.

Maradona died of a heart attack last month at the age of 60 and was laid to rest in a cemetery near Buenos Aires.

The court ruled that a DNA sample of the footballer must be submitted in response to a lawsuit filed by Magal Gil, 25, who believes he could be her father.

His lawyer said samples already exist, which would make exhuming his body unnecessary.

The ruling said: “Ms Gil requests that a study be carried out… and that for this purpose the acting prosecutor’s office send a DNA sample.”

Five days after Maradona’s death on 25 November, a court ruled that his body must not be cremated until all necessary forensic tests had been carried out.

Wednesday’s ruling has prolonged the ban for the foreseeable future.

Ms Gil, who is adopted, said her birth mother contacted her two years ago with the news.

In a video on Instagram, the 25-year-old said it was a “universal right” to know “if Diego Maradona is my biological father or not”.

Ms Gil is not the only child vying for a piece of Maradona’s inheritance.

The footballer recognised five children as his own – four in Argentina and one in Italy – by four different women, including his ex-wife Claudia Villafane and former long-term partner Veronica Ojeda.

In addition to Ms Gil, there are another five people going through the courts to seek recognition.

One of his daughters once joked that he could make up a football team’s starting 11 with his children.

Maradona’s inheritance is expected to be divided equally among his children – but its value is contested.

He had an estimated net worth of $500,000 when he died, according to Celebrity Net Worth, a website that reports on the wealth of famous people.

Their calculation factors in €37.2m euros (£33.5m) in unpaid taxes owed to the Italian government, which was reported in 2005 and remains largely unpaid.

One friend, journalist Luis Ventura told the Fantino a la tarde TV programme that Maradona had died poor.

“He liked to spend, and when someone asked him for money, he gave it,” he said.

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