Maradona backs video assistant referee system

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Madrid, July 26 (IANS) Argentinean football icon Diego Maradona voiced his support for the video assistant referee system, while acknowledging that with this technology his infamous goal against England in the 1986 World Cup would not have counted.

“Football can’t fall behind. Given the rate at which technology is advancing and the fact that every sport uses it, how can we not think about using it in football?” the former Barcelona and Napoli star told FIFA’s website on Tuesday.

“People get annoyed when something that shouldn’t be given is given, or when you have a goal wrongly disallowed. Technology brings transparency and quality, and it provides a positive outcome for teams who decide to attack and take risks,” Maradona added.

The VAR technology has been tested by FIFA at a number of its tournaments, most recently at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, reports Efe.

Maradona acknowledged that not only his “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final would not have been counted with this technology, but things could have taken a different turn in one of the 1990 World Cup matches.

“I thought about it and, sure, that goal wouldn’t have stood if technology had been around. And I’ll tell you something else, at the 1990 World Cup I used my hand to clear the ball off the line against the Soviet Union,” the 56-year-old recollected.

“We were lucky because the referee didn’t see it. You couldn’t use technology back then, but it’s a different story today,” he added.

–IANS

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