Maradona backs VAR despite ‘Hand of God’ goal

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has supported the use of video assistant referees (VARs) in football despite admitting his infamous 'Hand of God' goal against England in the 1986 World Cup would have been ruled out.

Maradona used his fist to score as Argentina defeated England 2-1 in the World Cup quarter-finals 31 years ago.

"Obviously I think about it whenever I show my support for the use of technology," Maradona told the Fifa website

"I thought about it and, sure, that goal wouldn't have stood."

Maradona said that he had benefited from the lack of technology on another occasion.

"At the 1990 World Cup I used my hand to clear the ball off the line [in a group game] against the Soviet Union," he said.

"We were lucky because the referee didn't see it. You couldn't use technology back then, but it's a different story today."

The 56-year-old World Cup winner said that England had also benefitted from a lack of technology in the 1966 World Cup final as Geoff Hurst’s goal would have also been ruled out if VARs had been around.

"England won the World Cup in '66 with a shot that didn't go over the line," he said.

"There have been lots of incidents where World Cup history would have been different if technology had been used. It's time to change all that."

Football’s governing body Fifa has been testing VAR technology at recent tournaments ahead of next year's World Cup in Russia, where the technology will be used.

VAR will be used to verify decisions on goals, penalties, red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

Its use at the recent Confederations Cup proved controversial, with players and commentators criticising VAR for causing delays and confusion.

However, Fifa president Gianni Infantino said VAR at the Confederations Cup was a "great success", but added that some work was still needed.