Thousands of fans are paying their final respects to Argentine football legend Diego Maradona at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires. Three days of national mourning have begun in Argentina after the national hero died following a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60.
Some wept, others blew kisses and said prayers as they filed past the coffin being displayed at the Casa Rosada. A million people are expected to visit his casket. Maradona’s coffin – draped in Argentina’s national flag and football shirt, bearing his trademark number 10 on the back – is expected to be on public display until Thursday afternoon.
There were tense scenes when the Casa Rosada opened its doors, as some fans pushed and shoved against the barriers, which were lined with security forces. His family and former teammates took part in a private ceremony earlier in the day.
One of the greatest football players of all time, Maradona had a troubled personal life marked by cocaine and alcohol addiction. He had successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November and was to be treated for alcohol dependency.
Local media said the preliminary results of an autopsy showed Maradona had suffered “acute heart failure”. A spokesman told AFP news agency he would be laid to rest in a cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, where his parents were also buried.