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Three funeral workers fired over Diego Maradona photos

Buenos Aires: Three funeral workers have been fired for posing for photos alongside the body of soccer star Diego Maradona shortly before his funeral.

The images distributed across social media prompted outrage, even death threats, across a nation that venerated Maradona, who died on Wednesday of a heart attack at the age of 60. Tens of thousands lined up for a chance to file past his body at the nation's presidential palace on Thursday.

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez and first lady Fabiola Yañez were among thousands to pay their respects at Diego Maradona's coffin.

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez and first lady Fabiola Yañez were among thousands to pay their respects at Diego Maradona's coffin.Credit:AP

Claudio Fernández confirmed to Radio Diez that he'd lost his job at the Pinier funeral home, along with his son Ismael and Claudio Medina.

One of the images shows Fernández 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.

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

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"It was something instantaneous. I'd just raised my head and my son did it like any kid of 18," he told the radio station.

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

"They know me. I'm from the neighbourhood," Fernández said. "They say they are going to kill us, break our heads."

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

AP

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