England Football Online
  Page Last Updated 19 July 2013  


Sunday, 22 June 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup Finals Quarter-Final

Argentina 2 England 1 [0-0]


January 16, 2007

Linesman saw 'Hand of God'


THE linesman when Maradona scored his infamous 'Hand of God' goal against England in 1986 has claimed it should NEVER have been allowed.

Bulgarian Bogdan Dotchev also launched an attack on the Tunisian referee, branding him 'an idiot more fit to herd camels in the desert than take charge of a World Cup game'.

Dotchev broke his 20-year silence after ref Ali Bin Nasser last week blamed him for not signalling the handball.

But Dotchev insisted: "A European referee would never recognise the validity of such a goal".

- European refs take charge of at least one or two important games per month and are used to big-match pressure.

- What is there for Bin Nasser to referee in the desert where there is nothing but camels?

Argentina's midfielder Diego Maradona palmed the ball into the goal over England keeper Peter Shilton in ciudad de México.

Dotchev, a top Bulgarian official back then, says he knew Maradona had used his hand.

But he claims: "With the ref having said the goal was valid, I couldn't have waved my flag and told him the goal wasn't good - the rules were different back then".

Argentina went on to a 2-1 victory to reach the semi-final - eventually winning the tournament.

But last night British refs chief Keith Hackett, in charge of nearly 100 internationals between 1981-91, said: "There were NO rules at the time which said this linesman could not alert the referee to a handball.

"This incident was one of incompetence on the part of the officials".