BUENOS AIRES, Argentina—Argentina marked the one-year anniversary of the death of soccer legend Diego Maradona on Thursday with ceremonies, tributes, graffiti murals and emotional messages on social media.
Maradona died of a heart attack at the age of 60 after having brain surgery two weeks earlier. Seven health professionals who tended to the star are facing criminal charges after a medical report said Maradona did not receive adequate treatment.
“The world has been more horrible for a year because you are not here,” Maradona’s eldest daughter Dalma wrote on Instagram.
Maradona’s youngest son, 8-year-old Diego Fernando, visited his father’s grave in the Jardín de Bella Vista private cemetery.
“I came so Dieguito said hi to his father,” his mother Verónica Ojeda told journalists.
One of Maradona’s brothers, Raul Alfredo, also visited the grave of the World Cup winner, who played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys.
Maradona’s four sisters attended a religious mass.
Argentina’s national team also marked the occasion on social media with the message: “It has been one year since you became immortal. We will never forget you.”
The country’s soccer association said the next round of the domestic championship will take place after players jointly form a number 10 on the pitch before each match.
Fans also gathered for tributes at sites dedicated to the Argentine great.
South America, meanwhile, has followed Europe by scrapping the away-goals rule for its club competitions, including the prestigious Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana.
South American soccer body CONMEBOL announced the decision on Thursday. UEFA made a similar ruling in June.
“From now on every goal in CONMEBOL tournaments will have the same value, goals scored by visiting teams will no longer be considered a tiebreaker,” the soccer body said on its social media channels. “With that, we seek bigger sporting justice.”
This year, the away-goals rule was key for defending champions Palmeiras of Brazil to reach Saturday’s Copa Libertadores final in Montevideo against its compatriots of Flamengo.
Tournament favorites Atletico Mineiro, also from Brazil, drew 0-0 with Palmeiras in the first leg of their semifinal match in Sao Paulo. Palmeiras advanced after a 1-1 result in Belo Horizonte, which amplified the criticism against the away-goals rule.
Image courtesy of AP