Former Premier League referee Peter Walton said Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal SHOULD have stood.
The 62-year-old made the claim having reviewed footage of the incident which occurred during a 1986 World Cup quarter-final match between Maradona’s native Argentina and England.
Analysing the goal, Walton told Paddy Power News:
‘As you can see, Maradona raises his hand to protect himself from the oncoming England goalkeeper’.
‘In doing so, the ball inadvertently bounces off his hand and ends up inside the net’.
‘Totally accidental and so, I must agree with the Tunisian referee on this one. The goal should stand’.
Walton also gave his opinion on Ben Thatcher’s clash with Pedro Mendes during a 2006 Premier League meeting which left the Portuguese requiring oxygen.
‘As you can see, Thatcher goes in with his arm raised but Mendes deliberately headbutts his elbow there’.
‘Six of one, half a dozen of the other. I must agree with the referee’s assessment. A yellow card only’.
The former referee reviewed another incident involving Mendes who was controversially denied a goal at Old Trafford in 2005.
‘Mendes hits a 55-yard speculative effort which catches Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll off-guard, and he fumbles the ball’.
‘However, the replays clearly show the whole goalkeeper did not cross the line.’
‘Therefore, the referee was right to wave play on’.
Walton was also asked to look at several incidents which occurred during Italy’s defeat against South Korea at the 2002 World Cup.
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‘The Ecuadorian ref awarded South Korea a soft penalty, showed Hwang Sun-hong yellow for a challenge that deserved a red, overlooked an elbow in the face of Alessandro Del Piero inside the box and a boot on Paolo Maldini’s head, sent off Francesco Totti for diving when he should’ve had a penalty, and ruled out Damiano Tommasi’s would-be golden goal in extra time for offside’.
‘But FIFA wanted the co-hosts to progress, so the referee has got all those decisions absolutely spot on as far as I can see’.
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