Diego Maradona laid to rest amid clashes in Buenos Aires as thousands pay respects

Fans sing and hold Argentinian flags in a mood resembling that of a football crowd

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Clashes broke out in Argentina on Thursday as thousands turned out in the capital Buenos Aires to pay their respects to the recently deceased football star and national hero Diego Maradona.

Singing songs and holding Argentinian flags, the crowd resembled that of a football stadium at times.

Fans formed a line that stretched more than 20 blocks from the Plaza de Mayo, where Argentinians gathered to celebrate the Maradona-led triumph in the 1986 World Cup.

But chaos broke out as the time to view the coffin at the presidential palace drew to a close, with some growing frustrated at not being able to pay their respects to Maradona.

Police moved to cut off the back end of the crowd, enraging fans who hurled rocks and other objects at officers. They responded with rubber bullets.

The crowd overwhelmed organisers and the violence resulted in injuries and arrests, which led Maradona's family to end the public visit.

Some fans climbed on the fences of the presidential mansion while firefighters worked to clear the ground.

“Diego is not dead, Diego lives in the people,” fans chanted as the coffin was taken to a cemetery outside Buenos Aires.

The motorcade, accompanied by police, was followed on a local motorway by dozens of honking cars and motorcycles.

Maradona died Wednesday of a heart attack in a house outside Buenos Aires, where he had been recovering from a brain operation on November 3.

The football legend was laid to rest after a ceremony attended by family and close friends at the Bella Vista cemetery outside Buenos Aires.

Tributes poured in from around the world following the star's death.

Lionel Messi, Argentina's modern-day superstar, led the tributes as he said: "He has left us but he will never leave us because Diego is eternal."

Brazilian legend Pele, 80, said he hoped they would one day "play together in the sky."