Napoli can no longer use Diego Maradona image on shirts following legal dispute

Napoli Maradona shirt 2021-22Getty Images
  • Footballing legend died in November 2020
  • Napoli have worn four shirts bearing his likeness since
  • Maradona spent seven years with the club

WHAT HAPPENED? A court has ruled that Napoli can no longer have Maradona's face adorning their shirts following a legal dispute between the icon's five children and his former manager Stefano Ceci. The club have worn four kits bearing a 'fingerprint' image of Maradona since his death, having acquired rights to the image from entrepreneur Ceci a few months before the Argentine passed away in November 2020, according to La Repubblica. Maradona's family took legal action as they had not given consent, and lawyers have obtained an injunction to block the distribution and use of the image in any form - including on shirts - and also requested the seizure of proceeds to the sum of €450,000.

WHAT THEY SAID: Court of Naples judge Paolo Andrea Vassallo said that Ceci's €23,000 contract with Napoli was "detrimental to the patrimonial expectations" of Maradona's children with regard to the use of the image of their father, "a planetary symbol of football, recognised and recognisable all over the world, whose economic value appears to be of considerable importance, almost inestimable".

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The sale of 6,000 limited edition Napoli shirts bearing Maradona's likeness yielded €900,000 in gross income, with Ceci taking 50 per cent of the proceeds having signed an agreement with the World Cup winner in August 2020. An injunction was brought against Ceci and €150,000 seized from him.


Diego Maradona NapoliAlfredo CapozziMaradona Napoli 1987Getty ImagesLorenzo Insigne Napoli 2021-22 (Maradona shirt)Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR NAPOLI? The ruling will not affect Napoli's kit rotation this season, with none of their 2022-23 Emporio Armani strips bearing Maradona's image. On the pitch Napoli have made a fine start to the campaign, most recently defeating champions AC Milan 2-1.

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