“This is what Diego would like”

ARGENTINA fans have launched a strange campaign to take Diego Maradona’s heart to the World Cup.

This involved removing the football legend’s organ from the police lab so he could travel with the team.

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Maradona led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup.1 credit

The head of the advertising agency, Javier Mentasti, pitched the idea to an Argentine radio station.

He said: “I’m sure that’s what Diego would like. If we could ask him, he would say, “Do it.”

“He can take the team bus to the players’ hotel.

“I can imagine a procession on the day the team leaves for Qatar, with people escorting the bus and a convoy at the airport before the players take off.”

He added: “It could also work as an initiative to promote organ donation. Taking Diego’s heart to the World Cup, which will be Messi’s last, can be very interesting. This is a dream”.

Maradona died at the age of 60 on November 25, 2020 and was buried without a heart condition.

Later it turned out that it was stored in formaldehyde in a police laboratory in La Plata, south of Buenos Aires.

Officials said the organ was removed so more tests could be carried out as part of the ongoing investigation into his death, which is expected to lead to the trial of several suspects, including Maradona’s doctor Leopoldo Luque.

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Physician and writer Nelson Castro said last year that the former Napoli and Barcelona star was also buried without a heart to prevent fans from stealing it.

He said on an Argentine television program that a group of football hooligans from Gimnasia y Esgrima, the La Plata club that Diego ran before his death, were planning to capture him during the broadcast.

The organ weighed 503 grams, almost twice as much as a normal heart for a man of Maradona’s age.

Argentine football executives have not yet responded to the campaign.

But Cesar Perez, the owner of one of the houses where Diego lived and which has now been turned into a museum, said: “We share this initiative.

“What better way than to send Diego’s heart to Qatar so that players and football fans can somehow feel that he is there!”

Maradona died in a rented house near Buenos Aires as he recovered from surgery for a blood clot in his brain.

He died in his sleep after heart failure causing pulmonary edema.

Subsequent blood and urine tests showed that at the time of his death there were no traces of alcohol or illegal drugs in his blood and urine, but he suffered from severe heart, liver and kidney problems.

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They also showed a cocktail of prescription drugs including quetiapine, venlafaxine and levetiracetam, which are used to treat depression, panic attacks and epilepsy, among other conditions.

A criminal investigation launched shortly after Maradona was found dead was initially classified as a manslaughter investigation.

It was reclassified as a murder investigation following a damning medical board report that concluded that Maradona’s care team had acted “inadequately, inadequately and recklessly”.

Earlier this month, it was reported that prosecutors were close to demanding the trial of seven suspects who were at the center of a lengthy investigation.

In addition to Luke, they include psychiatrist Diego Agustin Kosachov.

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