Maradona’s Golden Ball auction halted by French judiciary 

The Argentine star’s heirs put forward their claim, alleging it was originally lost during a bank robbery in 1989

Diego Maradona’s long-lost 1986 World Cup Golden Ball award won’t go up for auction any time soon after the French Judiciary ordered to seize it on Wednesday. This comes after French auction house Aguttes announced on Sunday it would halt proceedings due to a “litigious climate.”

The Versailles Court of Appeals accepted a claim to the trophy by the late World Cup winner’s heirs. On Thursday, a courthouse in Nanterre, near Paris, denied their allegation it had been originally lost during a bank robbery in Naples, in 1989.

A source close to the case confirmed to the Herald that the award has now been seized until the judiciary investigates its authenticity: if proven, the heirs have a claim.

The trophy was recovered in 2016 after a collector unwittingly bought it among other items and reported the find, according to French sports news outlet L’Equipe

The auction, scheduled for June 6 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, another town near the French capital, has now been postponed by Aguttes. “Our goal is to organize auctions in the best possible conditions, for both the seller and the buyer,” auction house director Maximilien Aguttes said in a communiqué. The statement didn’t announce a new date for the auction.

The ball-shaped trophy resembles the Azteca, the ball used during the 1986 World Cup, and was authenticated by the auction house by matching it with photographs from the 1986 award ceremony.

After Maradona died on November 25, 2020, friends and family members questioned the circumstances of his death, sparking an investigation that is now set to go to trial. Although proceedings were initially scheduled to start on June 4, the case has now been postponed to October. 

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All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald