The body of late soccer great Diego Maradona “must be conserved” in case his DNA is needed in a paternity case, an Argentine court ruled on Wednesday.
Maradona died of a heart attack last month and was buried on November 26 in a cemetery just outside Buenos Aires.
While Maradona’s lawyer had previously told Reuters DNA samples already exist, the court said the former Boca Juniors and Napoli player’s body must not be cremated at a later date.
Five recognised children and six with filiation requests are part of a complex inheritance process in Argentina.
One of the six, Magali Gil, 25, says she found out two years ago the soccer icon was her biological father.
The ruling from the National Court of First Instance in Civil Matters No. 56 also said: “Ms Gil requests that a study be carried out … and that for this purpose the acting prosecutor’s office send a DNA sample.”
Maradona recognised four children in Argentina and one in Italy, which he had during his time as a player in the country.
A long-forgotten container with hundreds of items of memorabilia from the legend’s glorious career could provide a treasure trove for collectors as well as open a new front in the contest over his estate.
Shirts signed by Argentine Sergio Aguero, Brazil’s Ronaldo Nazario, England’s Harry Kane and Bulgaria’s Hristo Stoichkov are among the memorabilia in the container, which had been in storage on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
There were also balls from Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors and a plaque given to him by soccer’s governing body FIFA.
Maradona shirts, worn by himself, as well as political mementos received as gifts from the leftist leaders he so admired, are also in the collection.
One Brazil shirt has the name Lula on the back, in reference to the former Brazilian president, and there is a letter from the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
The existence of the container, with hundreds of items inside, has been brought to the attention of judicial authorities and the contents catalogued by officials, a source close to Maradona’s family said.
“There is only one key to the container and it is with judicial officials,” the source added.
The booty could turbocharge the legal battles under way over the spoils of an estate that Forbes magazine estimated was worth between $US10 million ($A13 million) and $US40 million ($A53 million).
Maradona has five recognised children but six others are claiming to be his offspring. They, along with former partners and business associates, are among those with claims to part of his fortune.
Maradona is also known to have left real estate, luxury cars and jewels accrued during time spent playing and coaching in Argentina, Spain, Italy, the UAE, Belarus and Mexico.