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Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” ball is set to fetch millions at auction

The football that Diego Maradona used to score his ‘Hand of God’ goal against England at the 1986 World Cup is set to go up for auction next month with an estimate of between £2.5million and £3million.

Argentina star Maradona famously potted the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to score the opening goal in the quarter-finals at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca.

He continued the controversial incident by scoring a superb solo runner-up that became known as the “Goal of the Century” as the Three Lions exited the tournament in a 2-1 loss.

Referee Ali Bin Nasser, who refereed the tie and failed to spot the handball, is the owner of the ball. It will be sold by Graham Budd Auctions on Wednesday 16th November.

The Tunisian match official said he felt it was the right time to share the item with the world and expressed hope that the buyer would put it on public display.

He said of the handball goal: “I couldn’t see the incident clearly. The two players, Shilton and Maradona, faced me from behind.

“As per Fifa’s pre-tournament instructions, I reached out to my linesman to confirm the validity of the goal – he went back to the halfway line and indicated he was satisfied the goal should be standing.

“At the end of the game, England head coach Bobby Robson said to me: ‘You did a good job but the linesman was irresponsible’.”

Maradona, who died in November 2020, claimed the goal was scored “a little bit with Maradona’s head and a little bit with the hand of God”.

Auctioneer Graham Budd said: “Given the history surrounding the ball, we expect this lot to be very popular when it comes up for auction.”

Argentina won the World Cup after beating West Germany in the final.

Maradona’s shirt, worn in the quarter-finals, sold for £7.4million in May, a new world record for any sporting memorabilia.

Bin Nasser’s shirt from the England-Argentina game will also be available at next month’s auction, alongside a signed shirt he later received from Maradona.

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