Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of official mourning of the passing of the World Cup winner, Diego Armando Maradona who died of a heart attack on Wednesday aged 60.

Fernéndez, speaking to Argentinean newspaper Clarín, said in a brief statement that he was “incredibly sad” over the death of Maradona.

“I was working with [Santiago] Cafiero [the head of the cabinet] when they told me. I can’t believe it. I’m distraught. It’s the worst news an Argentina fan could receive. We loved him. I’m trying to talk to his family. We’ll see. There is so much sadness,” said the president.

The presidential decree announcing the official period of mourning will be published in the State’s Official Bulletin, to be followed by tributes all over the country to what many consider to be Argentina’s greatest player of all time.

The official resident of the president, the Casa Rosada, is to be made available for the family of Maradona, in order to organise a state funeral for the player.

Seven presidents of the nation have received a state funeral at the Casa Rosada: Bartolomé Mitre in 1906, Manuel Quintana, Carlos Pellegrini, Roque Sáenz Peña, Julio Argentino Roca, Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear and most recently Néstor Kirchner in 2010.

From the world of sport, five-times Formula 1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio was given a state funeral, on 17 July 1995.

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