Football fans in Qatar honour Maradona on death anniversary

Fernando, an Argentine, wears a number 10 Albiceleste jersey with an image of Diego Maradona on Friday to honour the second anniversary of the football legend’s passing.

He is among hundreds of Argentinian fans paying tribute to the football legend in Qatar as the 22 edition of the FIFA men’s World Cup enters the second round of group matches. This is the first time since the 1978 World Cup, Argentina is without Diego Maradona.

Maradona’s former teammates including Ricardo Giusti and Jorge Burruchaga also gathered in Qatar to pay tribute to the former Napoli and Barcelona star. 

Maradona died of cardiac arrest aged 60 on 25 November 2020, after battling drug and alcohol abuse for years.

A statue of Maradona at CONMEBOL exhibition in Doha’s Musherib Downtown. Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

Maradona played in four World Cups from 1982 to 1994 and was the coach of the national team in 2010. He lead the team to win the trophy in 1986.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino joined CONMEBOL, its President Alejandro Domínguez and members of Argentina’s two FIFA World Cup winning teams in paying tribute to Maradona at CONMEBOL exhibition in Doha’s Musherib Downtown.

He also suggested that, in future FIFA World Cup tournaments, a day be set aside to celebrate Diego Maradona’s achievements.

In Buenos Aires, a huge mural had already emerged of Maradona wearing a national team jersey and holding his right hand in a fist, a defiant expression on his face.

The massive piece of artwork climbs 148 feet high and 131 feet wide (45 meters by 40 meters) and was painted on the side of a 14-story building in the Argentine capital.