PRETORIA (Reuters) - Luis Fabiano’s second goal against Ivory Coast at the World Cup was not with the Hand of God as the Brazilian claimed, Diego Maradona said on Monday.
“No, this one was with his arm, he brought it down with his arm, it’s very evident, I think there was a double handball,” Argentina’s coach said laughing.
Maradona scored the original ‘Hand of God’ goal in a 2-1 quarter-final win over England in the 1986 tournament in Mexico in which he captained Argentina to victory in the final.
“What’s tragicomic is the referee’s smile afterwards,” Maradona told a news conference the day after Brazil’s 3-1 Group G win over the Ivorians put them into the second round.
“When I scored the goal against England, I didn’t see the referee laugh. He had so many doubts, he looked at his linesmen, there was no fourth referee at that time, he looked at the crowd to see if they gave him a hand.
“But yesterday (Sunday), the referee went (back to the centre circle) laughing and that’s what shocked us all,” said Maradona on the eve of Argentina’s final Group B match against Greece in Polokwane.
“So if you saw it why didn’t you penalise it?” he added as if talking directly to the referee, Frenchman Stephane Lannoy.
Luis Fabiano, having put Brazil ahead in the 25th minute, scored his second goal five minutes after halftime and the record five-times champions qualified with a game to spare.
“It happened at a particular moment in the match because at 2-0 Brazil had practically closed out the match,” Maradona said.
Maradona, who always brushes aside suggestions Argentina are favourites to win the World Cup despite an impressive start to the tournament, said Brazil were still the team to beat.
“Brazil are not playing well but they settle their matches and for that reason they are still the big favourites,” he said.