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22nd of July 2018

Sport



Maradona goes on incredible anti-England rant after win against Colombia

By Mirror:

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Wednesday, July 4th 2018 at 15:51 GMT +3 | World Cup 2018 Argentina legend Diego Maradona has blasted England [Photo: Courtesy]

Diego Maradona has accused England of theft after Gareth Southgate's meted out justice to Colombia's hatchet men.

Maradona, the Hand of God who cheated the Three Lions at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, insists Gareth Southgate's men got the benefit of a FIFA stitch up to move into the last eight of the World Cup.

In a blistering attack on Argentine TV, he claimed that American referee Mark Geiger was out of his depth, that referees' chief Pierluigi Collina should apologise to the Colombian nation for appointing him, and that the penalty given for Carlos Sanchez's grapple with Harry Kane was a foul instigated by the England captain.

Daft Diego said: “I saw a monumental theft. I apologise to all the Colombian people, but they must know the players are not to blame.

“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. Maradona claims the Three Lions robbed Colombia [Photo: Courtesy]

“With all due respect, Pierluigi Collina, as the man who designates the referees, he is very bad. He must apologise to the Colombian people.

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“I told (FIFA president) Gianni Infantino that if I worked for FIFA I would change everything. It has to be transparent. That's why I didn't go there.

“The referee will know a lot about baseball, but he has no idea about football. The Colombian players asked for VAR and he did not give it to them.

“Twice the English threw themselves to the ground and he did not admonish them. This was theft.”

Colombia had six players booked – including Wilmer Barrios, who was lucky to escape a red card for his first-half headbutt on Jordan Henderson.

Kane both won and converted the 57th-minute penalty from which England took the lead.

But Colombia forced extra-time thanks to Yerry Mina's header before England prevailed in the penalty shoot-out. Carlos Sanchez fouls England's Harry Kane [Photo: Courtesy]

Maradona insisted: “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 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.”

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