Argentine football legend Diego Maradona was due to arrive home in Buenos Aires from Dubai on Sunday after learning of the death of his 81-year-old mother Dalma.
Dalma Franco de Maradona, known to Argentines as Dona Tota, died late Saturday in a Buenos Aires clinic where was being treated for a heart condition.
Maradona, 51, who has been coaching Emirates club Al-Wasl since last June, was travelling back to Argentina from Dubai when he learned of his mother's death.
There were numerous tributes on social network sites from artists, politicans and footballers.
"A very sad day ... thanks for the support. We're all with Diego and the family," wrote Maradona's son-in-law Sergio 'Kun' Aguero.
The news broke midway through the first division match between Independiente and Olimpo and a minute's silence was observed before the second-half kickoff.
Maradona is the greatest player in Argentina's history, having led the country to their second World Cup title in 1986 in Mexico and a runners-up finish four years later in Italy.
He won 91 caps for his country and scored 34 goals in a career that spanned 21 years and saw him play in Argentina, Spain and Italy.
He was sacked eleven months ago as Argentina coach following a 4-0 loss to Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.