• Shilton recalls ‘Hand of God’ incident; Pele, Messi, Ronaldo eulogise late icon
Lawyers to the late football icon, Diego Amando Maradona, want the first responders who attempted to resuscitate the former world footballer of the year investigated for taking too long to arrive at his home.
The 1986 World Cup winner died at the age of 60 on Wednesday from what medics say is cardiac arrest at his home in Tigre, Argentina. This happened three weeks after he had a brain surgery to remove a blood clot. He had also been treated for alcohol dependency in the days following his operation, having shown withdrawal symptoms during his time in hospital.
Maradona was released to continue his recovery from home where he moved into the Tigre complex along with a nurse to look after him, but on Wednesday he reported feeling ill at breakfast and, according to a preliminary autopsy, he suffered a pulmonary edema caused by heart failure and died in his sleep.
However, his lawyer, Matias Morla, according to independent.co.uk, believes the medical personnel ignored his condition for the final 12 hours of his life and labelled the time it took for an ambulance to arrive as “criminal idiocy” in a strong outburst on Twitter.
“It is inexplicable that for 12 hours my friend has had no attention or check-up from the personnel dedicated to these ends,” Morla said in a statement on his Twitter account.
“The ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive, which was a criminal idiocy,” he added, saying that the fact should not be “brushed aside” and that he would seek a full investigation into the matter.
Maradona’s psychologist, Carlos Ciaz, and psychiatrist, Agustina Coaschov, both arrived at the property, where it soon became apparent that he was unresponsive.
According to a preliminary autopsy that has been leaked to the Argentine media, they entered Maradona’s room after he failed to respond to his nephew.
The report stated: “They went to his bedroom on the ground floor and spoke to him and he didn’t reply and they asked his nephew and an assistant to enter the room.
“They tried to wake him up and after failing to detect any vital signs made an unsuccessful attempt to revive him by practising CPR.
”The first emergency medical responders on the scene continued the attempts to revive Maradona along with a surgeon who lives near the property, using adrenaline and atropine which is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of low heart rate.”
The Argentine government has also ordered an autopsy on the late star to determine the actual cause of death. President Alberto Fernandez yesterday announced a three-day national mourning following Maradona’s death, with the public flocking to the streets to pay tribute to the football great with several tributes and murals on display across the country.
Meanwhile, Maradona’s coffin arrived at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires yesterday for a period of lying in state, TV reports showed.Hundreds of people were already lining up to pay their respects to Maradona, who died while recovering from a brain operation, the images from sport channels TyC and ESPN showed.
At 10pm local time yesterday, Buenos Aires exploded in cheers, horns, sirens and lights for the man who famously wore the number 10, after a viral social media message called for “one last applause”.
The homage resounded throughout the night in all the neighbourhoods of the capital, the AFP news agency reported.
At the Diego Maradona stadium, home to the Argentinos Juniors club where Maradona played as a child and made his debut as a professional player, fireworks were launched as a large crowd flooded into the field to the cry of “Maradooo, Maradooo”.
If football is a religion in Argentina, then Maradona really was its god – especially for the founders of the Maradonian Church, a mostly internet-based group that uses religious language to venerate the player.
Approximately 1,000 people answered the “church’s” call for fans to gather in his honour at the Obelisk at 6pm local time, a traditional rallying point in central Buenos Aires for football celebrations.
Among the football icons, who mourned Maradona yesterday was Peter Shilton, the England goalkeeper involved in the infamous ‘Hand of God’ incident at the Mexico 1986 World Cup.
Shilton described Maradona as ‘one of the greatest,’ adding, however, that the Argentinian’s Hand of God goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals had left a “sour taste” for many in the England squad.
In front of 117,000 spectators at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico, Maradona scored both goals in Argentina’s 2-1 win as they knocked out England on their path to World Cup glory.
His second in the match is regarded as one of the great World Cup goals, but his contentious opener, scored with his hand past Shilton, has long caused controversy in England.
Shilton, who won 125 caps and was England captain on the day, remains saddened by the incident but says Maradona’s greatness should be celebrated.
“He was one of the greatest players of all time – he won the World Cup on his own for Argentina,” Shilton told Sky Sports News.
It was in the 51st minute when Steve Hodge’s poor attempt to deny Jorge Valdano saw the ball loop up to Maradona, who used his left fist to send it beyond Shilton.
Asked for his recollection of the goal, Shilton said: “For me as a goalkeeper, there didn’t seem to be any danger.
“He would have been offside but one of our own players, Steve Hodge, was put off balance, so he was trying to clear it and hooked it back.
“I had a split-second decision to make – do I stay on my line and let the world’s greatest player have an opportunity from 10 yards out or can I get there? I felt I could just get there, it was an instinct thing, but I was always second-best, I was always trying to catch up.
“I was diving a little bit flat. I knew I was going to get the ball, I think Maradona said in an interview the reason he punched it in with his hand was because he could see I was getting above him, and he couldn’t head it.
“He took a chance, it ended up in the back of the net and then he ran off to celebrate. You’re looking around waiting for the referee to blow his whistle as we did, and of course the rest is history.”
Also, Pele, who was voted jointly greatest footballer of the century by FIFA, has joined the world to pay tributes to the man many believe was as good, if not better, as him.
Three-time World Cup-winner wrote on Twitter: “What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend.“There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play football together in the sky.”
Former England midfielder Trevor Steven recalls the ‘four minutes of chaos’ in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final with Argentina where Diego Maradona scored twice, one with his hand.
Lionel Messi wrote on Instagram: “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal.”Cristiano Ronaldo also offered his own personal tribute. The Juventus and Portugal star posted on Twitter: “Today I bid farewell to a friend and the world farewells to an eternal genius.
“One of the best ever, an unmatched magician. Leaves too soon but leaves a boundless legacy and a void that will never be filled. RIP. You will never be forgotten.”