Diego Maradona’s funeral sparks clashes between mourners and police in Buenos Aires

Diego Maradona's funeral sparks clashes between mourners and police in Buenos Aires

Mourners and police clashed at the funeral of Diego Maradona as thousands gathered to bid farewell to the football legend on Thursday.

The Argentina and Napoli great, who underwent brain surgery earlier this month, died of natural causes at the age of 60 on Wednesday.

His body is lying in honor at Casa Rosada — the presidential mansion in the heart of Buenos Aires — during three days of national mourning in his homeland.

Maradona’s coffin was draped with Argentina’s national flag and football shirt, which bared his trademark number 10 on the back.

Thousands of people wishing to pay their respects joined the line at the Plaza de Mayo square, with the first in line allowed to enter the building at 06:00 local time (09:00GMT). 

The wake was scheduled to last for 10 hours, with the first few reserved for Maradona’s family and former teammates.

However, as the numbers continued to swell, officers in riot gear struggled to contain the crowds and Argentine outlet Clarin reported tear gas and water cannons being used.

Footage emerged on social media of bottles and fences being launched near Maradona’s temporary place of rest.

Maradona is to be buried at the Jardines de Bella Vista cemetery on the outskirts of the city, which is reportedly where his parents were laid to rest.

Fans of Maradona’s former clubs also paid tribute to the legendary attacking midfielder, with makeshift shrines set up in Naples, Seville and Barcelona.

Speaking on Thursday, meanwhile, Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla called for a full investigation into the circumstances that led to his death.

“It is inexplicable that for 12 hours my friend has had no attention or check-up from the personnel dedicated to these ends,” he added on the statement on Twitter.

“The ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive, which was a criminal idiocy.”

Maradona, who captained Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 and went on to coach his country, is survived by five children and his former wife, Claudia Villafane, who he split with in 2004.