Kerala declares two-day mourning for Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona

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Announcing the decision on Thursday, November 26, State Sports Minister E.P. Jayarajan said lakhs of his fans in the football crazy state could not believe his untimely departure

The Kerala government has shared the sorrow of lakhs of football lovers in the state over the death of Diego Maradona by announcing a two-day mourning in the sports sector as a mark of respect to the Argentine soccer legend.

Announcing the decision on Thursday, November 26, State Sports Minister E.P. Jayarajan said the departure of Maradona has saddened football fans around the world. Lakhs of his fans in the football crazy state could not believe his untimely departure, he added.

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. Maradona had visited Kerala for two days in 2012 for the inauguration of a showroom of Boby Chemmanur International Jewellers and Airlines.

Thousands of football fans from across the state, many wearing Argentina’s jersey, had thronged to the Kannur Municipal stadium hours before Maradona’s visit, to ensure they would get a glimpse of the legend.

Maradona enthused his fans by spending about 30 minutes with them. “I love Kerala,” he declared in between showering his fans with flying kisses. He shared the stage with Bobby Chemmanur, former Indian football player IM Vijayan, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who was the then Home Minister, and several other legislators of the state.

Remembering Maradona and his visit to Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "The people of Kerala are among millions of football fans across the world pained by the death of the legendary player."

Maradona has a big place in the hearts of football fans in Kerala ever since Argentina won the 1986 World Cup. After Argentina, Maradona has the largest number of fans in Kerala. During any World Cup his posters are found in large numbers across the state," the chief minister said in his message.

Image Credit: News Minute

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