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Mayor of Naples begins process of renaming Maradona’s stadium

The mayor of Naples began a formal process on Thursday to rename the San Paolo Stadium in Diego Maradona.

The move mourns the football giant who died of a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60, two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires after a brain surgery.

“We have already put it together this morning and are taking the first step towards dedicating the stadium in Naples to Maradona,” said Luigi de Magistris. “It’s a process, but it’s a fast process, because when there is such a strong desire, there is nothing to prevent us.

“We want to coincide with the resumption of the match with the fans,” the mayor added.

The city operates the San Paolo Stadium, and Maradona led Naples to two titles in Serie A in 1987 and 1990.

Naples will face Croatia’s Rijeka in the Europa League on Thursday, and the coronavirus pandemic will empty fans.

However, while rallying in the “red zone” of the coronavirus is technically banned, fans are already waving banners and singing in honor of Maradona from late Wednesday to Thursday morning. I was outside the stadium, singing and lighting flares.

“Maradona is like a brother-like father who is part of our family,” said Rafaele Cuomo, one of the fans outside the stadium. “Unfortunately, it seems that someone in the family has died and part of Naples has died.”

Another Naples resident, Anna Carpi, added: … But Diego is always in our hearts. “

When Maradona joined Naples in 1984, the southern clubs had virtually nothing to win and were geographically and socio-economically far from the national football capitals of Milan and Turin. ..

“It caused a resurrection of people,” said De Magistris. “Because he loves Naples, he wanted to let the world know about a city full of humanity, love, energy and fantasy through football.

“Even today, I see young children, like my children, who have Maradona in their hearts and minds, and who didn’t (see him play).”

Il Mattino, the leading newspaper in Naples, had a top page headline on Thursday simply saying “Grazie”-“Thank You”.

Gazzetta dello Sports, one of the country’s leading sports newspapers, dedicated the first 23 pages to Maradona.

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Other Associated Press Soccer: https: //apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Andrew Dampf is located at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf

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Mayor of Naples begins process of renaming Maradona’s stadium

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