Female footballer ‘receives death threats’ after labeling Maradona ‘rapist’ and refusing to take part in tribute to late icon
Spanish footballer Paula Dapena has reported receiving death threats after she refused to observe a minute’s silence in remembrance of Diego Maradona.
The 24-year-old, who plays for Viajes Interrias FF, ignored a pre-match tribute to Maradona by sitting on the pitch with her back turned, while the rest of her teammates stood.
Dapena later explained that she didn’t want to pay homage to a person whom she called a “rapist, pedophile and abuser,” referring to accusations of domestic abuse made against Maradona, after a video of the football hero hitting his former fiancée Rocio Oliva leaked in 2014.
The footballer has revealed that her protest sparked angry reactions among Maradona’s fans, some of whom sent her death threats via social media.
“Not only have I received harassment through social networks, but also my teammates,” Dapena said.
Paula Dapena refused to pay tribute to Maradona during the minute silence. They lost 10-0 that match. Great way to honour an all time great 🐐 pic.twitter.com/8PsPRUMu4r— Mitch 90+6 FBFT (@Mitch___S) November 30, 2020
“Not only have we suffered harassment, there have been death threats and threats such as ‘I’m going to find your address and I’m going to go to your house and break your legs.’”
She admitted that World Cup winner Maradona was a legend in terms of his achievements on the pitch, claiming however that his controversial life outside football was far less admirable.
“Maradona, in football terms, it seems to me that he had spectacular skills and qualities. But, as a person, he left a lot to be desired. So, keeping a minute of silence and paying homage to him goes against myself. I could not do it,” she added.