Considered one of the greatest football players in recent times, Diego Maradona the World Cup-winning legend passed away from a heart attack aged 60 on Wednesday as he recovered from surgery for a blood clot on the brain.
Argentine president Alberto Fernandez, declared three days of official mourning of the passing of the World Cup winner, who died of a heart attack. The president said in a brief statement that he was “incredibly sad” over the death of Maradona.
“I was working with [Santiago] Cafiero [the head of the cabinet] when they told me. I can’t believe it. I’m distraught. It’s the worst news an Argentina fan could receive. We loved him. I’m trying to talk to his family. We’ll see. There is so much sadness,” said the president.
The presidential decree announcing the official period of mourning will be published in the State’s Official Bulletin, to be followed by tributes all over the country to what many consider to be Argentina’s greatest player of all time.
Government House, Casa Rosada, next to the iconic Plaza de Mayo, has been made available for the family of Maradona, in order to organize the state funeral for the player.
Seven presidents of Argentina have received a state funeral at the Casa Rosada: Bartolomé Mitre in 1906, Manuel Quintana, Carlos Pellegrini, Roque Sáenz Peña, Julio Argentino Roca, Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear and most recently Néstor Kirchner in 2010.
From the world of sport, five-times Formula 1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio was given a state funeral, on 17 July 1995.