‘Hand of God’ Still Riles Shilton even as He Mourns Maradona


Diego Maradona who died aged 60 on Wednesday possessed “greatness but not sportsmanship” said former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton who was victim to the infamous “hand of god” goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final.

Shilton told UK’s Daily Mail he did not like that the Argentina football legend had never apologised for the first of his two goals in the 2-1 victory in Mexico.

Maradona, who Shilton described as a “the greatest player I ever faced”, went on to score twice more in the semi-final win over Belgium and lifted the World Cup after Argentina defeated West Germany in the final.

“What I don’t like is that he never apologised,” said Shilton.

“Never at any stage did he say he had cheated and that he would like to say sorry.

“Instead, he used his ‘Hand of God’ line. That wasn’t right.

“It seems he had greatness in him but sadly no sportsmanship.”

The 125-times capped Shilton, who won the European Cup twice with Nottingham Forest, added: “My life has long been linked with that of Diego Maradona — and not in the way I would have liked. But I am saddened to hear of his passing at such a young age.

“He was undoubtedly the greatest player I ever faced and my thoughts are with his family.”

Meanwhile, Argentine police and fans who were lined up to see the casket of soccer icon Diego Maradona clashed on Thursday as authorities moved to shut down access to the Casa Rosada presidential palace ahead of a planned 4pm (1900 GMT) shutoff for the public wake.

Images on local TV appeared to show canisters of tear gas being thrown, with riot police and others on motorbikes trying to hold back the crowd, desperate to pay respects to Maradona who died on Wednesday, aged 60.

Thousands of fans had been queuing for more than a mile through the streets of Buenos Aires since early on Thursday to see the casket, which is lying in state before a planned burial later in the evening.

“We were calm lining up and suddenly, the police started to fire rubber bullets. Crazy, I just want to say goodbye to Diego,” Rubén Hernández, 35, told Reuters.

Addressing the tensions, interior minister Gustavo Russo said that the procession with the casket would look to travel along the route where people were waiting, to allow people to say their goodbyes.