Diego Maradona Rubs Salt in England Wounds by Claiming VAR Would Have Disallowed 'Hand of God' Goal

Tuesday July 25th, 2017

​Diego Maradona has championed the use of the new Video Assistant Referee system in football, and claimed it would have chalked off his infamous 'Hand of God' goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.

In a move that is sure to rile up Three Lions fans all over again, the cheeky 56-year-old chose to use his own hugely controversial incident as an example of something that would have been correct by VAR.

FABRICE COFFRINI/GettyImages

Speaking to FIFA, as quoted by their ​official website, Maradona said: "Football can’t fall behind. Given the rate at which technology is advancing and the fact that every sport uses it, how can we not think about using it in football?"

"People used to say that we’d waste a lot of time, that it would cause a lot of annoyance. But that’s not the case.

"People get annoyed when something that shouldn’t be given is given, or when you have a goal wrongly disallowed. Technology brings transparency and quality, and it provides a positive outcome for teams who decide to attack and take risks."

It has been 31 years since Maradona climbed high to fist the ball past Peter Shilton on the grandest stage of them all and the incident is arguably one of the most famous World Cup moments.

Recalling the controversy with a laugh, he added: "Obviously I think about it whenever I show my support for the use of technology. I thought about it and, sure, that goal wouldn’t have stood if technology had been around.

"And I’ll tell you something else: at the 1990 World Cup I used my hand to clear the ball off the line against the Soviet Union. We were lucky because the referee didn’t see it. You couldn’t use technology back then, but it’s a different story today."

The VAR system is becoming more and more prominent in football today, and was most recently trialled at the Confederations Cup.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.