July 14, 2024, 8:16 pm

Maradona’s heirs fail to block 1986 World Cup ‘Golden Ball’ trophy sale

  • Update Time : Friday, May 31, 2024
  • 36 Time View

Sports Desk:

Diego Maradona’s heirs on Thursday lost their legal bid in France to block the sale of the Argentine football legend’s ‘Golden Ball’ trophy from the 1986 Mexico World Cup.

The trophy given to the tournament’s best player had been missing for decades before being found by an antique dealer in the French capital.

It is due to be sold by Aguttes auction house in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, on June 6.

According to the Maradona family, the trophy given to their father in November 1986 at the Lido Cabaret in Paris was stolen during a bank robbery three years later in Naples.

On Thursday, a court in Nanterre, outside Paris, found that the heirs “did not present any criminal proceedings that would have been filed by the footballer during his lifetime”.

“Proof of the existence of this theft cannot be based solely on press articles,” the court found.

Lawyers for the family of Maradona, who died in 2020 aged 60 years, argued that the piece of memorabilia from the player’s glittering career, which is expected to fetch millions, rightly belongs to his five heirs.

They are appealing Thursday’s decision.

“This concerns a trophy awarded to a football legend, it should go to Argentina,” Gilles Moreu of the Paradox law firm told AFP.

In 2022, Maradona’s Argentina jersey from the 1986 tournament sold for close to $9.3 million, while the “Hand of God” ball from the quarter-final against England sold for $2.4 million later that year.

For their part, lawyers representing the person who found the ‘Golden Ball’ and the auction house, which is organising the sale, pleaded good faith.

Maximilien Aguttes, director of the auction house, said one of the “legends” circulating about the award was that Maradona forgot it at the Lido the evening it was awarded.

The antique dealer who acquired the trophy said he bought it at an auction in 2016 “in a hardware lot” made up of hundreds of trophies, most of which had little value.

A criminal complaint has also been filed, the public prosecutor’s office confirmed to AFP. Source: AFP, Nanterre

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