Diego Maradona accused England of theft after Gareth Southgate’s men experienced a glorious victory against Colombia.
Maradona, the Hand of God who cheated the Three Lions at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, insists Colombia were hampered by poor refereeing decisions.
In a blistering attack on Argentine TV, he claimed that American referee Mark Geiger was out of his depth, that referees’ chief Pierluigi Collina should apologise to the Colombian nation for appointing him, and that the penalty given for Carlos Sanchez’s grapple with Harry Kane was a foul instigated by the England captain.
Diego said: “I saw a monumental theft. I apologise to all the Colombian people, but they must know the players are not to blame.
“It is the man who decides who the referee is who is to blame. A man like that (Geiger) should not be put in charge of a game of that magnitude.
“With all due respect, Pierluigi Collina, as the man who designates the referees, he is very bad. He must apologise to the Colombian people.”
“The referee will know a lot about baseball, but he has no idea about football. The Colombian players asked for VAR and he did not give it to them.
“Twice the English threw themselves to the ground and he did not admonish them. This was theft.”