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29 Oct, 2021 18:52

Diego Maradona’s daughters ‘will not attend’ tribute match for football icon in Saudi Arabia because of ‘row over image ownership’

Diego Maradona’s daughters ‘will not attend’ tribute match for football icon in Saudi Arabia because of ‘row over image ownership’

The daughters of late football legend Diego Maradona will reportedly snub a testimonial match between Boca Juniors and Barcelona which is set to be played in Saudi Arabia next month amid an alleged dispute with his lawyer.

Some fans have hit out at the commercialization of the match, which was announced this week at a venue far away from Argentinean side Boca's iconic 54,000-seater Bombonera ground or Spanish giants Barca's Camp Nou, which is capable of holding 99,000 punters.

Instead, the game marking the anniversary of Maradona's death will take place at the Mrsool Park stadium in Riyadh, which has a meager 25,000 capacity.

Now the daughters of the iconic number 10, who suffered a fatal heart attack aged 60 last November, have joined the throngs of critics of the showpiece while firing potshots at a lawyer and accusing those involved of "doing business" in the name of their dead father, according to Cuatro.

Matias Morla allegedly acted as an intermediary for the fixture, which appears to have ignored the opportunity to head to arguably the club where Maradona made his greatest impact – Italian side Napoli.

The report quoted older sister Dalma to have said: "This is the guy who approached my father as a fan and now claims to be the owner of my father's image, voice and name, stating that this is not his children [who are the owners]."

Dalma and sister Gianinna are allegedly embroiled in a dispute with Morla over Maradona's brand and image rights that has led to the attorney's offices being raided by anti-fraud cops, America TV is said to have reported.

"He died alone, apart from the sisters with whom he spoke every day and [his ex-girlfriend] Veronica Ojeda, who went to see him with Dieguito Fernando, his son," Morla is quoted to have said in a previous retort at the siblings.

The alleged search on Morla's offices is said to have taken place earlier this year at Dalma and Gianinna's request after they reportedly lodged a complaint in mid-March for fraud while accusing Morla of "betrayal, dishonesty and abuse" in managing Maradona's brand.

In Morla's eyes, though, the daughters' main gripe is purely financial. 

"Diego said: 'The Maradona brand will look after my sisters, the image will look after my heirs'," Morla revealed, with Maradona allegedly submitting a signed document to that end in Dubai around 2015 or 2016.

Additionally, he claimed that Dalma and Gianinna "don't like me because in 2014 we took away their credit cards." 

Morla has separately testified as a witness during an investigation of Maradona's death. 

At a Buenos Aires prosecutor's office, he said medical treatment given to his client by a seven-person team before his passing at a rented home in Tigre was "very bad".

"There were many mistakes made... they inflated and inflated the poor guy until his heart exploded," said Morla during a testimony that passed three hours.

Neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, who denies wrongdoing and also had his house raided, has already testified.

Investigators are asssessing whether there was malpractice or neglect in Maradona's care, with audio recordings between doctors and members of the World Cup winner's entourage arousing suspicion.

In Argentina, the crime of "simple homicide with eventual intent" is punishable by between eight and 25 years in prison.

Also on rt.com Maradona medical team ‘deficient and reckless’ before football icon’s death, investigators say

Maradona's autopsy revealed he died while sleeping from a build-up of fluid in the lungs linked to congestive heart failure.

Giannina publicly raged at "all the sons of b*tches waiting for my dad's autopsy to reveal drugs, marijuana and alcohol" following Maradona's death. Only medication to treat depression and anxiety were found in his system. 

"I am not a doctor but I saw him very swollen. A robotic voice. It wasn't his voice," she emotionally added at the time.

Also on rt.com Seven doctors who treated Diego Maradona ‘facing up to 25 years in jail after being charged with homicide with eventual intent’
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