World association

Argentina spends weekend celebrating late hero Maradona

Soccer Football – Serie A – AS Roma v Napoli – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – October 24, 2021 Napoli fans display a banner and jersey in honor of former player Diego Maradona ahead of the REUTERS / Alberto Lingria match

BUENOS AIRES, October 30 (Reuters) – Argentinian football gears up for a weekend of celebrations to mark the late football star Diego Maradona’s birthday, with games across the country on hiatus and clubs and fans dressing to remember the controversial superstar.

The former Boca Juniors, Napoli and Barcelona player died on November 20 of last year from a heart attack. His death was widely mourned in Argentina, which he led to victory in the 1986 World Cup.

“Today, 61 years after his birth, his memory is more present than ever,” wrote the Argentine Football Association. “Because Diego is eternal.”

The AFA has told all professional clubs that players must wear T-shirts with Maradona’s photo on the front on the pitch and that team captains must wear a blue and white armband – in the national colors of the team. ‘Argentina – with its silhouette on it.

All matches, including amateur matches and children’s matches, were ordered to stop after 10 minutes for one minute of applause.

The association hopes 1,000 matches will be affected across the South American nation and has asked fans to take photos and upload them using the hashtag # 1000PartidosPorEl10, or “1000 Matches for the 10”.

“Diego is in the hearts of all Argentines,” he said. “Do not miss.”

The first tributes came during Friday night’s league matches with billboards outside the stadiums showing photos of the star.

A drone carrying a replica of Argentina’s No.10 Maradona jersey flew over the stadium where Racing lost at home to Defensa y Justicia.

Songs recorded in tribute to Maradona were played while fans cheered and sang.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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