Sports

Argentina declares three days national mourning for Maradona

By Iduh Sunday with agency report

Argentina President, Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning, following the death of Diego Maradona.

Fernandez posted a photograph of himself on Twitter hugging Maradona with the message: “You took us to the highest place in the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thanks for existing, Diego. We are going to miss you the rest of our lives.”

Argentina Football Association in a message, said, “the Argentine Football Association, through its President, Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest pain at the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You’ll always be in our hearts.”

Reacting to the death of Maradona, retired Brazilian soccer star, Pele in a brief statement provided to Reuters by a representative stated that: “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.”

Diego Maradona’s death at the age of 60, following a heart attack was confirmed by his longtime agent, Matias Morla, on Wednesday.

The Argentine legend had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma several weeks ago. He suffered a heart attack at his home in Buenos Aires.

Born in 1960, Maradona captained Argentina to World Cup 1986 glory as well as reaching the final in 1990. At the height of his club career, at Napoli from 1984 to 1991, he helped the side win its only two Italian league titles.

He also experienced notable lows, such as when he was kicked out of the 1994 World Cup after being found guilty of doping.

Napoli described his death as a “devastating blow” for both the city and the club. “We are in mourning,” club spokesman, Nicola Lombardo said.

“We feel like a boxer who has been knocked out. We are in shock.”

“Everyone is waiting for words from us. But what words could be possible for pain as strong as that we are currently experiencing? Now is the time for tears. Later, it will be words,” the club posted on its Twitter account.

“It is a very sad day for the football world,” Serie A President, Paolo Dal Pino said in a statement.

“Today, a legend of our sport has left us. One who made us dream and excited fans across the planet. For the next set of fixtures, we will remember him with a special initiative,” it adds.

UEFA confirmed that there will be a minute’s silence before all Champions League matches on Wednesday and Europa League ties on Thursday.

Since ending his playing career in 1997, the ex-Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors star battled a series of health issues.

He was admitted to hospital in January, 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach. He also fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed passing out in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game.

In 2004, he was hospitalised with severe heart and respiratory problems related to a long battle with drug addiction. He had undergone two gastric bypass operations to control his weight and received treatment for alcohol abuse.

Maradona is survived by his longtime partner, Veronica Ojeda, two daughters, two sons, and his former wife, Claudia Villafane.

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