Thousands of Argentines walked past the casket of the late football legend, Diego Amendo Maradona to pay their last respect at the Executive Villa in Buenos Aries, the Argentine Capital on Thursday.
Maradona’s body arrived at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina early today for the lying-in-state, with thousands of grieving Argentines queueing to say the final goodbye.
Patmos Media Line reports that the fans were thoroughly monitored and waved on to keep moving by agile security who kept rigidly to Covid-19 masking rules.
Many wept, waved, clasped their hands, took a bow or simply did the sign of the cross when they reached his shiny brownish casket.
People kept vigil overnight outside of the presidential palace to pay Maradona their last respects
The weeping fans gathered outside as Maradona’s coffin was lifted out of an ambulance and brought into the palace on Wednesday night. It is expected to lie in state for three-days.
Maradona is being treated as a god in Argentina which made the Argentine President, Alberto Fernandez to dialogue with his family and he is being given a state burial.
Maradona in his life time was close to the present head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis who is an Argentine. He claimed he used to watch Maradona play football in his playing days and called for prayers when Maradona was hospitalized a few weeks ago and did a brain surgery.
The fans too were near disciplined but some of them threw souvenirs like the memorable jersey no 10, football boots, posters and other items to his casket that was draped with the Argentine flag.
There are pleas by fans to the World football Governing body, FIFA that the no 10 jersey know with Maradona throughout his football career be rested as a mark of respect for the all-time great player only compared with Brazilian Edson Arentes De Nascimento otherwise known as PELE. Marseille manager, Andres Villas-Boas initiated that call while another call was to name the Napoli Stadium after Maradona.
Argentina that has declared three days of mourning for its soccer idol Diego Maradona is according him all the paraphernalia of state burial, as the lying-in-state begins today.
Maradona, regarded worldwide as a football genius died on Wednesday at the age of 60.
The mourners file past a barricade at the Presidential palace. Maradona’s coffin is at the back of the barricade
crowd mobs the ambulance that brought the coffin to the presidential palace
The Daily Mail further reports that others gathered outside the Buenos Aires stadium where Maradona began his career and which has since been renamed in his honour, setting up a makeshift shrine to celebrate Argentina’s legendary number 10.
His death has also been keenly felt in Europe, especially in Naples where he steered an unfashionable side to two Italian league titles and where fans let off flares in tribute outside the stadium last night.
Regarded by some as the greatest player of all time, Maradona combined awesome footballing ability with a flair for showmanship and a turbulent personal life marked by drug and alcohol problems.
An autopsy report leaked to Argentine media said he died in his sleep after suffering heart failure, only two weeks after leaving hospital following surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.