Diego Maradona dies: Argentina and Napoli great's lawyer hits out at emergency services

By Sacha Pisani 27 November 2020 15
Diego Maradona dies: Argentina and Napoli great's lawyer hits out at emergency services

Diego Maradona's lawyer Matias Morla criticised the emergency services and their delay in attending to the Argentina and Napoli great following his death.

Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach Maradona – arguably football's greatest ever player – died of natural causes at the age of 60 on Wednesday.

Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

Thousands gathered to farewell the football legend in Buenos Aires on Thursday during three days of national mourning in his homeland, where Maradona's coffin was draped in the Argentina flag at Casa Rosada – the presidential mansion – before being transported to a cemetery.

In the aftermath of Maradona's passing, Morla denounced the emergency services as he called for an investigation.

"Today is a day of profound pain, sadness and reflection. I feel in my heart the departure of a friend whom I honoured with my loyalty and companionship to the end of his days," Morla said in a statement published via his social media channels.

"I bid him farewell in person and the wake should be an intimate moment for the family.

"In terms of the report from the Prosecutor San Isidro, it is inexplicable that for 12 hours my friend has had no attention or check-up from the personnel dedicated to these ends. The ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive, which was a criminal idiocy.

"This should not be overlooked and I will ask for it to be investigated until the end of its consequences. As Diego told me, 'you are my soldier, act without pity'.

"To define Diego in this moment of deep desolation and pain I can only say: He was a good son, he was the best football player in history, and he was an honest person. May you rest in peace, brother."

Maradona – the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece – had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

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Sacha Pisani