Funeral worker who posed for photo with Maradona’s corpse begs for forgiveness after international outrage and death threats over the images
- Yesterday photos emerged of funeral staff posing with Diego Maradona’s corpse
- Diego Molina took a selfie next to the body while making a thumbs up gesture
- Claudio Fernandez and his son Ismael, 18, copied the poses Molina had made
- Today, Claudio begged for forgiveness while speaking on Argentinian radio
- He said: ‘I know a lot of people have been very offended and have taken it badly. I know it upset them. I ask all of them to forgive us’
A funeral worker who took a selfie by Diego Maradona’s body in his open coffin has made a grovelling apology after the images sparked international outrage.
The first of the photos began circulating on Thursday and sparked threats of legal action by Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla.
He named the man at the centre of the scandal as Diego Molina and it later emerged he had been sacked by the owner of the funeral parlour, a firm called Sepelios Pinier.
Funeral parlour worker Diego Molina (pictured) posed for a selfie next to the open coffin of Diego Maradona while making the thumbs up gesture. A man who copied the pose next to the corpse with his son is the first of the trio to publicly apologise for the desecration. Maradona’s coffin is pictured (right) lying in state at the Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires yesterday
Pictures subsequently emerged of a father and son repeating Molina’s thumbs-up gesture by the open coffin, with the younger of the pair even appearing to smile.
Local reports said they too had been fired by their distraught boss.
They were subsequently named as Claudio Fernandez and his son Ismael, 18.
Today Claudio begged for forgiveness in the first comments by any of the trio since the scandal broke.
He told an Argentinian radio station: ‘We were getting ready to take Diego to the wake and my son, being a typical youngster, made the thumbs-up sign and had his photo taken.
‘I ask for everyone’s forgiveness. I’ve worked for Maradona’s father and his brother-in-law.
Molina is pictured in a van transporting Maradona’s body to his wake. A second image emerged on Thursday of funeral staff Claudio Fernandez and his son Ismael, 18, copying Molina’s pose. Today, Claudio begged the public for forgiveness on Argentinian radio
‘I’ve been close to Diego while he was alive. I would never have disrespected him while he was alive because he was my idol and it was not my intention after he died.
‘I know a lot of people have been very offended and have taken it badly. I know it upset them.
‘I ask all of them to forgive us.’
Mr Morla, named the first sick selfie culprit as Diego Molina and posted a social media picture of him on his official Twitter feed as he pledged to take legal action.
He wrote in a menacing message alongside his tweet: ‘This is Diego Molina, the author of the photo taken beside Maradona’s coffin.
Argentina’s football players pay tribute to Maradona as scarves, flags and football jerseys are piled up around the coffin draped in the national flag at his wake in the presidential palace on Thursday
‘He’s Pinier’s head of burials.
‘Diego Molina is the swine that took the picture of himself alongside Maradona.
‘For the memory of my friend I am not going to rest until he pays for this aberration.’
He published his message before the photo of the other two men by the coffin started circulating.
Offended Maradona fans responded by posting death threats online.