Kerala declares two-day mourning for Maradona

Kerala declares two-day mourning for Maradona
Diego Maradona. Reuters/File

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday announced a two-day mourning in the state's sports sector as a mark of respect to Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, who died of a heart attack at his home in Buenos Aires.

Announcing the decision, state sports minister E P Jayarajan said the departure of Maradona has saddened football fans around the world.

"In Kerala also, lakhs of fans could not believe his departure," he said.

Under this circumstance, the state sports department decided to observe a two-day mourning from Thursday, he said.

Maradona, considered the greatest footballer of all time alongside Brazil's Pele, died following a cardiac arrest, two weeks after undergoing a surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.

The iconic footballer had visited the southern state for two days in October 2012 for a private event.

For the football-mad fans of the region, it was a god- sent opportunity as they could catch a glimpse of their hero from close quarters in Kannur.

Such was the craze for the 1986 World Cup winner that fans had started converging at the stadium three days prior to the event.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also expressed grief on Wednesday over the death of Diego Maradona and said his fans around the world would miss the football legend.

(With inputs from PTI)