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SportsCourt rejects Maradona heirs' attempt to halt auction of '86 Golden Ball...


Court rejects Maradona heirs’ attempt to halt auction of ’86 Golden Ball Trophy


French court has ruled that the auction of a trophy awarded to the late Diego Maradona after the 1986 World Cup can proceed as scheduled, despite objections from his heirs, their lawyer informed The Associated Press on Thursday.

Maradona’s family sought to halt the sale of the Golden Ball trophy, which he received for being the best player at the 1986 World Cup, by initiating an urgent legal action.

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Lawyer Gilles Moreu told The AP the court’s ruling “was not favorable to the heirs of Diego Maradona.”

The trophy is set to be auctioned next Thursday in Paris by the Aguttes auction house.

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The Golden Ball was missing for decades after it disappeared in uncertain circumstances and only recently resurfaced.

Maradona’s heirs say the trophy was stolen and claimed the current owner wasn’t entitled to sell it.

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Aguttes said the trophy reappeared in 2016 among other lots that were acquired from a private collection at auction in Paris.

Moreu said the president of the Nanterre court outside Paris considered the current owner of the trophy, identified as Mr. Benchaieb, “should be considered as acting in good faith.”

Benchaieb and Aguttes asserted that when the trophy was purchased years ago, they were unaware it had been stolen.

Maradona received this prestigious award in 1986 during a ceremony at the Lido cabaret on the Champs-Élysées. The trophy later vanished, fueling various rumors about its fate.

Some speculated that it was lost during a poker game or sold to settle debts.

Others believed Maradona had stored it in a safe at a Naples bank, which was robbed by local gangsters in 1989 while he was playing in the Italian league.

Maradona’s heirs maintain that the trophy was stolen from the bank.

Moreu added he and his clients were “both surprised and saddened” by the ruling.”We intend to use all available means of recourse between now and June 6,” he said.

Maradona, who died in 2020 at age 60, captained Argentina in its 3-2 win over West Germany in the 1986 final in Mexico City.

In a quarterfinal win over England he scored the “Hand of God” goal and the “Goal of the Century.”
Aguttes said it expects the trophy “to fetch millions due to its uniqueness.”

Participants in the auction will need to make a deposit of €150,000 ($161,000) to join the bidding.

Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” goal occurred when he punched the ball into England’s net.

Shortly after, he scored another legendary goal by dribbling through England’s midfield and defense, bypassing goalkeeper Peter Shilton. FIFA later recognized this as the greatest goal in World Cup history.

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