'All I want is to say goodbye': Why was Diego Maradona's ex-girlfriend Rocio Oliva banned from his funeral?

Maradona's ex-girlfriend, Rocio Oliva was banned by Diego Maradona's family from attending his funeral and was told to queue with the rest of the public

                            'All I want is to say goodbye': Why was Diego Maradona's ex-girlfriend Rocio Oliva banned from his funeral?
Diego Maradona's funeral (Getty Images)

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona died on Wednesday, November 25, at the age of 60 following a cardiac arrest. He died just two weeks after getting discharged from the hospital where he was receiving medical assistance for a blood clot in his brain. Maradona was regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time and is famous for helping his country win the 1986 world cup.

The football icon's funeral was held on Thursday, November 26, with thousands of fans lining the streets of Buenos Aires to pay their respects to Maradona. Maradona's casket was covered in an Argentine flag and the No. 10 jersey he famously wore on the national team. Dozens of other jerseys of various football teams tossed in by weeping visitors were scattered on and around the casket.

Apart from playing for the South Merican country, the late legend had associations with Boca Juniors, Napoli, Argentinos Juniors, Sevilla, Newell’s Old Boys and Barcelona. For them, he had played club football while receiving admiration around the globe for his talent. He achieved success at the club level, most notably with Napoli, whom he led to their first Serie A title in 1987. A second followed in 1990, along with an Italian Cup in 1987 and a UEFA Cup in 1991.

Maradona's casket was placed in the presidential palace, Casa Rosada, for private and public viewing. Open visitation started at 6.15 am local time after a few hours of privacy for family and close friends. According to Argentina's national news agency, Telam, among those of Maradona's family who were seen attending the funeral were his brothers and sisters: Ana, Rita, Elsa and Raúl, his children: Dalma, Giannina, Jana and Diego Fernando, ex-wife Claudia Villafañe, ex-partner Verónica Ojeda, and nephew Daniel Líopez Maradona.

Maradona's former agent Guillermo Cóppola, the Italian ambassador for Argentina Giuseppe Manzo and Buenos Aires Security Minister Sergio Berni were also seen attending.

It is not known whether his other confirmed child, Diego Sinagra, attended. Sinagra is an Italian footballer, playing for ASD San Giorgio in Italy. Despite years of campaigning from Sinagra’s mother, Maradona refused to accept he was the father. This was also despite an Italian court proclaiming him as the father as early as 1995, although, in 2016, Maradona accepted he was Sinagra's father. 

Maradona's ex-girlfriend, Rocio Oliva, was banned by Diego Maradona's family from attending his funeral. Oliva arrived at Casa Rosada at 4.40 am local time to bid farewell to Maradona at the presidential mansion but was immediately informed by a security guard behind the gate that she was not allowed to enter the grounds.

In an interview outside the mansion, Oliva claimed she had been excluded from a list of the late footballer’s closest family and friends already inside the Casa Rosada and told to queue with the rest of the public, according to The Sun. She said, "I don’t know why they’re doing this to me. All I wanted to do was say goodbye to Diego. I was his last partner. I have as much right as anyone else to say goodbye to him."

Oliva had spent six years with Maradona, who was then recovering from his drug addiction, and came close to marrying him before their split at the end of 2018.

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