The hand of God

"The hand of God" is a phrase used by Argentine footballer Diego Maradona to describe an association football goal he scored in a quarter-final match between Argentina and England during the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The goal took place on June 22, 1986, at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Under association football rules, Maradona should have received a yellow card for a clear "handball" incident and the goal disallowed. However, as the referees did not have a clear view of the play and video assistant referee technology did not yet exist, the goal stood and Argentina led 1-0. The game ended with a 2–1 win for the Argentines, thanks to a second goal scored by Maradona, known as the "Goal of the Century". After the match, Diego Maradona stated that the goal was scored "a little with his head, and a little with the hand of God".

The Goal

At the end of the first half, while the game was still tied at 0-0, Maradona was beginning to influence the end result of the match. Six minutes into the second half of the game, Maradona took the ball out of the box with his left leg and passed it to teammate Jorge Valdano. Valdano tried to take on several English defenders, but the ball was intercepted and thrown back and forth and eventually cleared towards England's goal by English defender Steve Hodge.
Because of the position of the players, Maradona would have been caught offside, but as the ball came off an opponent, he was onside. Alone inside the penalty box and with the ball dropping down, Maradona struggled for the ball alongside goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who stood 20 centimeters taller than Maradona. Shilton jumped forward with his right hand, while Maradona did so with his left arm outstretched. Maradona's fist, which was raised close to his head, touched the ball first and hit the ball into England's goal. Maradona began to celebrate while glancing sideways at the referee and the linesman for confirmation. He then fully celebrated the goal when it was given.
Tunisian referee Ali Bennaceur gave the goal, but after the English players' protests he sought the advice of his second linesman who confirmed the goal.
Mexican photographer Alejandro Ojeda Carbajal immortalized this moment in a photograph in which Maradona can be seen hitting the ball with his hand.

"History is already written"

In 2005, 19 years after scoring the controversial goal, Maradona confessed on a program La Noche del 10, that the goal was actually scored with his hand.
In early 2008, The Sun newspaper published an article in which they implied that Maradona, during a visit to England, had apologized for what is described as "the infamous goal of The Hand of God".
The newspaper first cites the phrase in this form: but later repeats the same quotation by adding the word "apologize" which did not appear in the first one, although it is the same sentence:and then completes the idea:Several world media outlets reported the news, creating controversy. Even Peter Shilton rejected the apology, arguing that it was now too late. Maradona, a few days after the article came out, denied everything, saying that the newspaper had misquoted him. Maradona responded:A few days later, The Sun newspaper confirmed that it had modified the interpretation of Maradona's words and asked to change the name to The Devil's Hand. In the original text of the interview, it could be seen that Maradona had never asked for forgiveness for the goal from the Hand of God.

Falklands War and "symbolic revenge"

In the 2019 documentary film directed by Asif Kapadia, Maradona links the event to the Falklands War four years earlier: "We, as Argentinians, didn't know what the military was up to. They told us that we were winning the war. But in reality, England was winning 20-0. It was tough. The hype made it seem like we were going to play out another war. I knew it was my hand. It wasn't my plan but the action happened so fast that the linesman didn't see me putting my hand in. The referee looked at me and he said: 'Goal.' It was a nice feeling like some sort of symbolic revenge against the English."

Subsequent use

The "Hand of God" became a popular phrase and reference to it is still made around the world. Here are some other famous football handballs; In the first round of the 1990 World Cup between Argentina and the USSR, in the first half of the 0–0 draw, a Soviet attack failed as Maradona intercepted the shot with "the hand of God" without the referee noticing.
During the final minutes of the second leg of the play-off for the 2010 World Cup between Ireland and France, William Gallas scored the decisive goal from a Thierry Henry assist that gave France a 2-1 aggregate victory and qualified them for the World Cup. Controversy followed immediately as replays were showing Henry repeatedly centering the ball with his hands moments prior to passing the ball to Gallas. Despite protests from the Irish side, Swedish referee Martin Hansson did not admonish Henry and allowed the goal. After the match ended, sporting news industries from around the world gave Henry's cross several nicknames, ranging from "The New Hand of God", to the more scathing "The Hand of Frog", the latter using an insulting term towards French people.
Uruguayan footballer Luis Suárez illegally stopped with his hand a likely goal from Ghanaian Dominic Adiyiah in the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. At the subsequent press conference, the striker said he had done so with the "Hand of God".
On February 11, 2020, in Group G of the 2020 AFC Cup, Joshua Grommen of Ceres-Negros F.C. scored the second goal of their game against Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC by diverting the ball into the net with his hand. Despite vocal protests from the opposing side, the goal was given as officials had failed to notice the blatant handball.