Diego Maradona: Footballer Paula Dapena refuses to pay tribute to legend

  • Rob Swan

The world of football has been paying its respects to Diego Maradona following the legendary Argentine’s passing at the age of 60 last week.

Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, passed away after suffering a heart attack.

Many of the world’s best players – including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – as well as almost every top club have paid tribute to Maradona over the past few days.

There was either a minute’s silence or applause at matches in various European leagues over the weekend, including the Premier League and La Liga.

It isn’t just in South America where Maradona is a hugely popular and respected legend of the game.


However, one footballer has gone viral on social media after refusing to take part in a pre-match tribute for the hero of the 1986 World Cup.

Paula Dapena, who plies her trade with Travel Interrías FF Women in Spain’s third tier, sat down and faced the opposite way while her teammates and everybody else paid their respects.

There’s no question that Maradona was a flawed genius, but these flaws were too grave in Dapena’s eyes to warrant a posthumous tribute.

“For the victims, there was not a minute of silence,” Dapena was quoted saying by Goal.com, “so obviously I am not willing to keep a minute of silence for an abuser and that it should not be done for the victims.”


The report says Dapena was alluding to the fact there was no similar gesture during the International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women.

“My teammates looked at me and laughed, because they knew I would not do it,” she told Pontevedra Viva, per Marca.

”A few days ago, on the Day for the Elimination of Gender Violence, these gestures were not made and if a minute of silence was not observed for the victims, I am not willing to do it for an abuser.”

While she recognises that Maradona was an extraordinary footballer, she pointed out that “he cannot be forgiven for all the atrocities he committed”.

Marca claim Dapena’s side went on to lose the match 10-0 to Deportiva de Abegondo.

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