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Maradona ‘Hand of God’ World Cup ball offered for $2.4m

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The ball punched in by Diego Maradona for his “Hand of God” purpose on the 1986 World Cup has been offered at public sale for almost $2.4 million by the referee who missed soccer’s most well-known handball.

Ali Bin Nasser, the Tunisian former match official who refereed the quarterfinal sport between Argentina and England in Mexico, owned the 36-year-old Adidas ball that was offered at Graham Budd Auctions in London for £2m ($2.37m) on Wednesday.

Bin Nasser stated earlier than the public sale he felt it was the best time to share the merchandise with the world and expressed hope the customer would put it on public show.

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The Maradona purpose that gave Argentina a 1-0 lead in that match towards England — however shouldn’t have been allowed — has grow to be a part of soccer legend.

Maradona jumped as if to move the ball however as a substitute punched it previous England goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

Maradona quipped afterward that it was scored a “little with the pinnacle of Maradona and a little bit with the hand of God,” resulting in its iconic identify.

Talking forward of the public sale, Bin Nasser stated: “I could not see the incident clearly. The 2 gamers, Shilton and Maradona, had been going through me from behind.

“As per FIFA’s directions issued earlier than the event, I regarded to my linesman for affirmation of the validity of the purpose — he made his means again to the midway line indicating he was glad that the purpose ought to stand.

“On the finish of the match, the England head coach Bobby Robson stated to me, ‘You probably did a superb job, however the linesman was irresponsible.”’

Maradona scored an excellent second purpose towards England solely 4 minutes later with the identical ball — the one one used within the quarterfinal.

He ran almost 70 meters from his personal half and weaved his well past half the England crew earlier than slipping the ball previous Shilton to make it 2-0.

That purpose was voted the World Cup Aim of the Century in 2002.

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Argentina gained the sport 2-1 and went on to raise the World Cup.

Maradona died in 2020 on the age of 60. The upcoming World Cup in Qatar, which begins on Sunday, would be the first since Maradona’s demise.

The jersey worn by Maradona towards England was offered in Might for $9.3m, on the time the very best worth paid at public sale for a chunk of sports activities memorabilia.

That was crushed by a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card, which went for $12.6m in New York in August.

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