Shillong, Nov 26: Meghalaya was hit by the passing of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 60.
As was the case elsewhere in the world, Meghalayans took to social media yesterday evening to express their grief, which came from all corners and age groups.
Coach Wadajied Lamare, in an apparent reference to Maradona’s infamous 1986 World Cup ‘Hand of God’ goal, said, “You’re in the hands of God…Rest in peace, legend,” while Nongrim Hills coach Playerson Syiemlieh said “Football will always remember you.”
Former footballer, now administrator, Sunesh Syiem wrote of the attacking midfielder, “One of the greatest ever who played the game is no more. RIP Maradona. Football is a team game, but how can I forget the 1986 World Cup…it was almost a single-handed effort by Maradona that made Argentina World Champions.”
A couple of young players who probably weren’t born the last time Maradona played professionally, Wanlang Diengdoh and Chanmitre Thma, were also saddened by the loss, along with Futsal Association of Meghalaya President Brightstar Langbang and Mawkhar SC’s Ksan Warjri.
State politicians also weighed in, with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma saying on Facebook, “As a sport, football is very close to a Meghalayan’s heart and #DiegoMaradona is a household name in #Meghalaya. Shocked to hear about the news of the football legend’s demise. He inspired generations. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, Diego.”
Leader of the opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma, tweeted, “Grieved and condole the demise of legend Diego #Maradona. How I chose to stay away to watch him play and went on cheering the Argentine team, of course in the absence of our own Indian team, in every World Cup. He inspired millions! RIP Maradona.”
Further afield, there were also condolences from Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju, the official social media handles of the Indian Super League, All India Football Federation, I-League and clubs like Aizawl FC, ATK Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers and Mohammedan Sporting.