A funeral worker, Claudio Fernandez who took a selfie next to the open casket of legendary Argentine footballer, Diego Maradona as his body lay in state in Buenos Aires has been fired.
The photos which went viral after he shared them, sparked international outrage – including death threats.
Fernandez who has begged for forgiveness told Radio Diez on Friday that he had lost his job at the Sepelios Pinier funeral home, along with his son Ismael and a third man.
In one of the pictures, a man can be seen giving a thumbs-up to the camera with one hand, while the other appears to be touching the forehead of the late football icon, who died of a heart attack at his home on Wednesday, aged 60.
A third funeral worker appears in another picture in the same pose.
According to Fernandez, they hadn’t planned to take the photo. “It was something instantaneous. I’d just raised my head and my son did it like any kid of 18,” he told the radio station.
He said he had received threats from people living in the El Paternal neighbourhood where Maradona debuted as a professional in 1976 with the Argentinos Juniors team.
“They know me. I’m from the neighbourhood,” he said. “They say they are going to kill us, break our heads.”
Mr Fernandez said he knew the world cup winner’s family, and that it was not his intention to show any disrespect.
The Sepelios Pinier funeral parlour issued a statement saying it was considering expelling Mr Fernandez from its membership.
The three were hired by the funeral parlour to help prepare Maradona’s body and carry the coffin, according to Argentinian TV channel TN.
It said the manager Matias Picon was “devastated” and claimed the trio were not directly employed by them, and that they were “outsourced” by a third party.
Mr Picon told TN: “The family trusted us, we have been working with them for a long time. My father is 75-years-old and he is crying, I am crying, my brother too, we are destroyed.”