Kerala gears up to greet Maradona

The football god is touching down in God’s Own Country for the first time and the soccer mad people of Kerala’s Kannur district have decked up the town to welcome the living legend of the world’s most popular game.

The Argentine great will be in Kannur on Wednesday to inaugurate a jewellery showroom and the helicopter taxi service to be launched by the group at the Jawahar stadium.

A crowd of over 50,000 people are expected to throng the venue to catch a glimpse of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup hero. As per the schedule, Maradona will land in Kochi on Tuesday afternoon from Dubai and will be flown to Kannur by a helicopter. 

Maradona will inaugurate the showroom at 10 am on Wednesday and kickstart the helicopter service by taking a flight around the Jawahar stadium showering flowers on the crowd.

Security is a major concern for the organisers of the event since entry to the stadium is free. J S Shaji, the spokesman of the jewellery group, said they are liasing with the police. “We have apprehensions whether the narrow streets of the small town can accommodate such a big crowd. We expect people from neighbouring states too. We have requested a contingent of 3000 policemen for crowd management,’’ he added.

Maradona first visited India in 2008 for an exhibition match in Kolkata.

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