CONTROVERSY

While Maradona is arguably one of the most popular and celebrated figures in Argentinian history, there is also much controversy surrounding his fame and veneration. Maradona has held a controversial private life, riddled with drug addiction, health problems, obesity and crime. He has also held many divisive political beliefs, such as supporting the oppressive dictatorship of General Videla, then turning to the neoliberals and even later showing support toward Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro (Brach 2012, p. 420). These issues have caused many people to be skeptical of the worship of Maradona, particularly through the Iglesia Maradoniana. Many Argentinians feel that it is an insult to hold someone with such a controversial past as a national hero, let alone as a God. Carlos Tevez, an Argentinian football player, holds this opinion, claiming that while he believes in Maradona on the football pitch, he questions him when it comes to life, “as he is wonderful in football and fabulous as a coach but lives a poor and dear life” (ESPN 2012).

Furthermore, as Argentina is a traditionally Catholic country, the notion of worshipping another deity is one that has offended many. According to one follower, however, there is no difference between a religion worshipping Maradona and that of a mainstream one, who asks:

“What has Jesus done that Maradona hasn’t? They have both performed miracles, just that Maradona’s are actually on record. The ideologies aren’t so different” (Howland-Jackson 2008).

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