VAR would have dis­al­lowed my goal, says Maradona

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Paris, France - Ar­gen­tinian great Diego Maradona ac­cepted on Tues­day that his in­fa­mous 'Hand of God' goal would have been ruled out with video tech­nol­ogy, as he backed the use of video as­sis­tant ref­er­ees (VAR).

Maradona used his hand to score in Ar­gentina's 2-1 quar­ter­fi­nal vic­tory against Eng­land dur­ing its 1986 World Cup-win­ning cam­paign, and also ad­mit­ted to an­other cru­cial hand­ball in the 1990 tour­na­ment.

"I think about it when­ever I show my sup­port for the use of tech­nol­ogy," he told Fifa.com.

"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 then, but it's a dif­fer­ent story to­day."

Goalline tech­nol­ogy is now widely used in world foot­ball, while VAR was used for the first time in a se­nior in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment dur­ing last month's Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup in Rus­sia.

The sys­tem worked to vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess, with many in­cor­rect de­ci­sions rec­ti­fied, but plenty of crit­ics ac­cused it of tak­ing too long and be­ing con­fus­ing for sup­port­ers. "Foot­ball can't fall be­hind," in­sisted Maradona.

"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."

Maradona was keen to point out that it wouldn't have only been con­tro­ver­sial in­ci­dents in­volv­ing him that would have been dif­fer­ent with tech­nol­ogy.

"It's not just my goal in '86 that wouldn't have counted. Let's not for­get that Eng­land won the World Cup in '66 with a shot that didn't go over the line," he added.

"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."

Ear­lier this year FIFA pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino said VAR would be used at next year's World Cup fi­nals in Rus­sia.

Diego Maradona

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