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Crowds wait to pay their respects to late football legend Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires

Football

Police clash with fans at Maradona’s wake

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Nov 26Riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes Thursday with football fans near the wake for Argentine football legend Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires.

Officials earlier ordered Maradona’s coffin to be moved to another room inside the presidential palace after fans took over an inner courtyard and disrupted his lying in state.

The government had early announced a three-hour extension to the wake to allow time for thousands of fans to pay their respects.

Tens of thousands of people had queued from early morning to file past the star’s coffin, draped in the Argentine flag and the player’s No.10 jersey, at the presidential palace.

Many of the mourners were in tears, and some wore replicas of the World Cup winner’s jersey as they gathered at the Casa Rosada palace to see his coffin.

But as the day wore on, fans queueing outside the palace grew increasingly impatient and some took over a courtyard inside the palace, where they chanted slogans.

Officials moved Maradona’s coffin to another room as a security precaution, a government source told AFP.

At the same time, riot police clashed with stone throwing fans on streets around the palace, and several people were arrested.

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Maradona died of a heart attack on Wednesday while recovering from surgery earlier this month to remove a blood clot on his brain.

He was to be buried later Thursday at the Jardin de Paz cemetery on the outskirts of the Argentine capital, where his parents were also laid to rest, his spokesman Sebastian Sanchi told AFP.

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