Diego Maradona has thrown his backing behind the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and conceded the system would have seen his “Hand of God” goal against England ruled out.
Maradona etched himself into the history of the World Cup at the tournament in Mexico in 1986.
As he rose to challenge England’s Peter Shilton, the Argentina captain used his hand to flick the ball past the goalkeeper and give his side the lead.
The mercurial playmaker went on to score a sensational second that proved crucial in La Albiceleste’s 2-1 quarter-final victory, Argentina going on to lift the title.
With the VAR system – which was used during the Confederations Cup and will be available during the upcoming Bundesliga campaign – Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser would have been able to check the validity of Maradona’s iconic goal, and the 56-year-old knows it would have been chalked off.
“I thought about it and, sure, that goal wouldn’t have stood if technology had been around,” Maradona told FIFA.com.
“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.”
Diego Maradona has been getting to grips with his new role as coach of Fujairah FC in UAE pic.twitter.com/3xmTGKCOff
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) July 25, 2017
“It’s not just my goal in ’86 that wouldn’t have counted,” Maradona added. “Let’s not forget that England won the World Cup in ’66 with a shot that didn’t go over the line.
“Then it happened to them in 2010, when [Frank] Lampard’s shot crossed the line against Germany but wasn’t given. England had the ball and scored the goal they deserved, but Germany grew in confidence after that and it changed the match completely.”
And Maradona believes now is the time to embrace technology to reduce the danger of controversy at future tournaments.
“There have been lots of incidents where World Cup history would have been different if technology had been used. It’s time to change all that,” he said.
“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.”
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