Footballer Paula Dapena Sits Down During Minute’s Silence For ‘Rapist’ Diego Maradona

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 30 Nov 2020 17:24
Footballer Paula Dapena Sits Down During Minute’s Silence For ‘Rapist’ Diego MaradonaTania Esperon/PA

Footballer Paula Dapena has received death threats after refusing to participate in a tribute for the late Diego Maradona.

Maradona passed away last Wednesday, November 26, at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home in Argentina.


Several tributes were paid to the footballer during football matches all over the world over the weekend, but not everyone wanted to participate.

Dapena, who plays for Spanish football team Viajes InterRias FF, refused to honour the late footballer after branding him as a ‘rapist, paedophile and abuser’.

Stating that she wasn’t informed that the tribute would be happening prior to the match, the 24-year-old said, as per AS:


As soon as I found out that there would be an act in his memory I refused to observe the minute’s silence for a rapist, paedophile and abuser.

A minute’s silence was not observed for the victims. So, obviously, I’m not willing to observe one for an abuser and not for the victims.

Maradona had been accused of hitting his wife in 2014 after a video emerged of what appeared like he was doing so, reported ESPN

At the time of the accusations Maradona said, ‘I grabbed the phone but I swear to God that I have never hit a woman. The incident was over immediately. I threw the phone but nothing else.’

PA Images

Dapena, who is a teacher by profession, said she would have felt it was ‘hypocritical’ to have gone along with the tribute.

As per EPSN, she added, ‘It seems hypocritical to observe a minute’s silence for Maradona, who was known for being an abuser, and not [observe] it for the victims of violence against women.’

Acknowledging that the footballer died on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Dapena continued:

It [Maradona’s death] totally overshadowed that day. We went from putting the spotlight on the death of women due to this cause to talking only about Maradona and what an idol he was for everyone.

For me, from a football standpoint, Maradona had spectacular skills and qualities. But as a person, he left a lot to be desired.

PA Images

Dapena went on to explain that following her actions she – and the rest of the team – have been harassed and are receiving death threats on social media.

The footballer said, ‘It’s not just me that has been harassed on social media but also my teammates. We have also received death threats and messages such as ‘I’m going to find your home address and go there and break your legs.’

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Sport, Football, Now, Protest, tribute


AS and 1 other
  1. AS

    Maradona: footballer refuses to observe minute's silence for "rapist, paedophile and abuser"

  2. ESPN

    Maradona death: Player receives death threats after refusing to participate in tribute