Hand of God or a Big Fat Fail – The Maradona Scandal

The ‘Hand of God’ is a term used to describe a very famous act of a soccer player by the name of Diego Armando Maradona, who scored a nearly impossible goal via an unpenalized handling foul. Being one of two goals scored during the match (both by Maradona) it resultantly won the game for Argentina who was versing England in the 1986 world quarter-final.

Since then, the ‘Hand of God’ act has consequently resulted in Diego Maradona having been acclaimed as the greatest player of all time as well as been scrutinised and called immoral by many famous individuals and organisations for reasons related to this. The first critical point to make is that, if this occurred in modern times, would the act be considered a breach of the rules as a foul or not? To surmise a very long list of factors, this occurred in 1986 when referees were the sole judges of the World Cup whereas today, technology would act in assisting the final decision if whether a repeat ‘Hand of God’ act were to be a foul or not.

Irrespective of this, some critics believe that using your hands in an elite soccer tournament such as the World Cup disrespects the sport entirely. This is due to the traditional English term for soccer ‘Football’ referencing the game being played primarily with one’s feet. In this case, a winning goal was scored via a player who was not the goalkeeper (the only player in soccer permitted to handle the ball during a game) hands. Many fans, some of which are loyal supporters of the Argentinian club itself believe this to be disrespectful and would even go to the extent of calling it cheating. Some people wanted the move to be disregarded as fans considered it sly by the referees to make the final decision of it not being a foul. However, within exactly four minutes of the ‘Hand of God,’ Diego Maradona scored once again, 60 meters out in a divine play which was more than legitimate and contributed equally to the 2-1 win against England.

In retrospect, Maradona’s ‘Hand from God,’ played during the quarterfinals against England may have been unorthodox. However, technology enforcing sporting rules was virtually non-existent in the 1980s compared to nowadays thus leaving the final decision of a foul or no foul was left to the referee. If this event were to occur today, the referee would not be given the sole power to decide the games result without interacting with analytical technologies which have advanced so far as to measure almost every foul with 100% accuracy.

Diego Maradona, now aged fifty-eight, is employed as a manager of the Mexican second division club Dorados and has managed in total eight teams since his official retirement of playing national league soccer in 1994. He now holds various accolades to his name including that of winning the 1986 FIFA World Cup (Mexico), 1979 FIFA World Cup (Japan) and being runner up in the 1990 FIFA World Cup (Italy).