The former footballer behind the infamous Hand of God goal against England in 1986 also took aim at American referee Mark Geiger, claiming he was not up to officiating the World Cup knockout game.
Speaking on Venezuelan television channel Telesur during his nightly World Cup show, the 57-year-old said the official should have penalised England captain Harry Kane instead of awarding him a penalty, which saw Gareth Southgate’s side take the lead in the 57th minute.
He claimed the striker threw himself down in the box after ripping into Pierluigi Collina, the head of FIFA’s referee committee, for appointing the referee.
I saw a monumental theft. I apologise to all the Colombian people, but they must know the players are not to blame, he said.
It is the man who decides who the referee is who is to blame. A man like that [Geiger] should not be put in charge of a game of that magnitude.
With all due respect, Pierluigi Collina, as the man who designates the referees, he is very bad. He must apologise to the Colombian people.
The former World Cup winner said Tuesday night’s referee would know a lot about baseball but had no idea about football, scolding him for not turning to the VAR (video assistant referee) system when Colombian players called for the penalty decision to be investigated further.
Twice the English threw themselves to the ground and he did not admonish them. This was theft, Maradona continued.
The penalty was not a foul. In fact, it was Kane’s fault. The referee is looking somewhere else and when he turns his head, Kane is on the floor.
Kane used his arm to hook [Carlos] Sanchez and then threw himself down.
I repeat, why didn’t the referee ask for the VAR? Colombia died standing. That’s why I applaud them.
Television pictures showed Maradona celebrating Colombia’s late equaliser and he was even seen wearing a Colombia shirt in a video of himself posted to Instagram with the words we are all Colombia.
He was also live streamed watching the tense penalty shootout on his Instagram account, during which he cheered Colombia’s goals and England midfielder Jordan Henderson’s missed penalty.
Later reflecting on Colombia’s equaliser on his show, he said I cheered Colombia’s goal as if I had headed it myself.
News Source SkyNews