Maradona funeral cortege heads to cemetery near Buenos Aires
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – A hearse bearing the flag-draped coffin of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona rolled through the center of Buenos Aires Thursday as thousands of fans bade him a final farewell.
Amid blaring sirens and surrounded by motorcycle police outriders, the funeral cortege swept quickly through the streets around the presidential palace, where thousands of fans had filed past Maradona’s coffin since early morning.
The lying in state, which had been extended to cope with the crowds surrounding the palace, was cut short by the family and officials after unruly fans took over an inner courtyard of the presidency.
Police then clashed with fans in the city center as the event threatened to descend into chaos.
The cortege avoided the main 9 de Julio avenue where many fans had gathered, and instead sped onto a highway out of the capital, following by dozens of photographers and cameramen on motorbikes.
Maradona was to be laid to rest at the Jardin de Paz cemetery on the outskirts of the Argentine capital after a private family ceremony.