Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God”: Referee justifies wrong decision


Soccer World Cup 1986
Maradona’s “Hand of God”: The former referee justifies the famous wrong decision again

Diego Maradona scores a goal for Argentina with a hand

The famous “Hand of God” goal: Diego Armando Maradona (left, Argentina) made it 1-0 with a hand against goalkeeper Peter Shilton (England) in 1986.

© Sven Simon / Imago Images

Even 36 years after Diego Maradona’s famous “Hand of God” goal, the then referee sees no fault in himself for the wrong decision in 1986.

The football with which Argentina’s idol Diego Maradona scored his legendary “Hand of God” goal in 1986 has been auctioned off for millions. The referee at the time, Tunisian Ali Bin Nasser, had offered the ball for sale. He hadn’t seen the handball in Argentina’s 2-1 win over England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

The ball achieved a price of two million pounds (equivalent to around 2.3 million euros) at the London auction house Graham Budd Auctions.

Maradona, who died in 2020 at the age of 60, later stated that the ball went past goalkeeper Peter Shilton “a little bit with Maradona’s head and a little bit with the hand of God”. That goal and another by Maradona, later voted the best goal in World Cup history, secured Argentina’s progress.

Maradona, who is only 1.65 meters tall, dribbled the ball from his own half in front of the opponent’s goal, had outplayed several Englishmen and then completed the 2-0.

Diego Maradona’s jersey also achieved a record amount

The referee from Tunisia justified his mistake before the auction by saying that the players blocked his view of the first goal. “I looked to the linesman for confirmation that the goal was valid – he ran back to the halfway line indicating he was confident the goal was valid,” Nasser said. He hopes the buyer will make the ball available to the public in an exhibition, the referee added.

Diego Maradona during his first World Cup match between Argentina and Belgium in 1982

The shirt Maradona wore in the game had already fetched £7.1m (about €8.4m) at auction earlier this year. Around four years before the World Cup quarter-finals in Mexico City, Great Britain and Argentina were in the undeclared war over the Falkland Islands, which the British won.

Sources: auction houseDPA

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