Paula Dapena: the death of Diego Maradona could kill some players that fail to honor him

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Footballers who fail to pay tribute to the late Argentine football icon, Diego Maradona could be killed based on the revelation of Paula Dapena, a footballer from Spanish third division women’s club Viajes InterRias FF.

The world has never stopped talking about the greatness of Diego Maradona especially the aspect of his football career. He is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, some even believe that he was the greatest.

So, when he died on Wednesday, November 25, of a heart attack at 60, the whole world stopped for him. His death completely overshadowed the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which was on the same day Maradona died.

Almost everyone in the world was busy sending their condolences to the family of Maradona and paying tributes to him on almost all available platforms, especially social media. Even those who were always compared to him including his closest rival Brazilian Pele, could not but sing praises of him.

The likes of Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi were not able to hide their admiration for Diego Maradona. They both took to their separate Instagram accounts and even on the pitch to pay their last respect to the late 1986 FIFA World Cup winner.

But Paula Dapena would not be a party to all that as she decided to turn what was meant to be a tribute to Diego Maradona into a protest.

Her club, Viajes InterRias FF, had the opportunity on Saturday to play a friendly match against Deportivo La Coruna. Before the match, all the players observed a minute silence in honor of Diego Maradona except Dapena who decided to sit down and faced backward to bring to life the past of Maradona which she believed no one was talking about.

Paula Dapena chose to sit down while her teammates are paying tribute to the late Diego Maradona.
Paula Dapena chose to sit down while her teammates are paying tribute to the late Diego Maradona.

The past of Maradona which Dapena tried to bring to the forefront was an incident that occurred in 2014 between Maradona and his wife Oliva. A video allegedly showing the football icon beating his wife emerged which Diego denied, claiming that he didn’t beat his wife.

He said: “I grabbed the phone but I swear to God that I have never hit a woman. The incident was over immediately. I threw the phone but nothing else.”

After Maradona’s statement concerning the domestic violence incident, the matter died down and no one pressed further charges against him.

But Paula Dapena who is a professional teacher in Spain aside from playing in Spanish 3rd division, won’t let it go and Maradona’s fans won’t allow anyone to dishonor their football icon.

Dapena said: “It’s not just me that has been harassed on social media but also my teammates. We have also received death threats and messages such as ‘I’m going to find your home address and go there and break your legs.

“It seems hypocritical to observe a minute’s silence for Maradona, who was known for being an abuser, and not [observe] it for the victims of violence against women,” she added.

“It [Maradona’s death] overshadowed that day. We went from putting the spotlight on the death of women due to this cause to talking only about Maradona and what an idol he was for everyone.

“For me, from a football standpoint, Maradona had spectacular skills and qualities. But as a person, he left a lot to be desired.

“To have observed a minute’s silence and honored him would have gone against my values,” she added. I couldn’t do it.”