Maradona’s Trophy Sale Delayed Amid Ownership Dispute and Probe

Aguttes, a prominent French auction house, announced on Sunday that the scheduled sale of a trophy awarded to the late football legend Diego Maradona has been postponed.

The decision comes as a result of an ongoing judicial investigation into the potential resale of stolen goods.

Maradona’s heirs attempted to halt the auction of the Golden Ball trophy, which he received for his outstanding performance in the 1986 World Cup, by filing an urgent legal motion earlier this week.

However, a French court ruled in favor of proceeding with the auction, prompting Maradona’s heirs to appeal the decision.

Maximilien Aguttes, in a statement, acknowledged the enduring passion surrounding Maradona but expressed concerns about the litigious atmosphere and uncertainties surrounding the trophy’s ownership.

He emphasized the auction house’s commitment to ensuring the best possible conditions for both the seller and the buyers.

Aguttes also stated that a new date for the auction is yet to be determined.

Last month, French judicial officials initiated an investigation following a complaint regarding the potential resale of allegedly stolen goods.

The Nanterre prosecutor’s office clarified that the court ruling does not impact the ongoing probe.

The Golden Ball trophy had been missing for several decades until it recently resurfaced. Maradona’s heirs claim that the trophy was stolen and assert that the current owner has no right to sell it.

Aguttes, however, maintains that when the current owner acquired the trophy years ago, he was unaware of its stolen status.

The trophy reappeared in 2016 among various items obtained from a private collection at an auction in Paris.

Speculate lost in a poker game

Numerous theories have circulated regarding the trophy’s disappearance. Some speculate that it was lost during a poker game or sold to settle debts.

Others believe Maradona stored it in a safe at a Naples bank, which was subsequently robbed by local gangsters in 1989 when he played in the Italian league.

Maradona’s heirs contend that it was stolen from the bank.

The recent French court ruling pointed out the absence of any criminal complaint or evidence of a police investigation filed by Maradona during his lifetime regarding the alleged theft of the trophy.

The Argentina legend

Maradona, who led Argentina to a 3-2 victory over West Germany in the 1986 final in Mexico City, passed away in 2020 at the age of 60.

His famous “Hand of God” goal and the “Goal of the Century” were scored during Argentina’s quarterfinal win against England.

Aguttes anticipates that the unique nature of the trophy will attract bids in the millions once the auction is rescheduled.

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