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Diego Maradona: Colombia suffered "monumental theft" at hands of England

Maradona: Colombia suffered
© Reuters
Diego Maradona claims that Colombia suffered a "monumental theft" at the hands of England and the match officials in Tuesday evening's World Cup last-16 clash.

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has accused the match officials of cheating Colombia out of victory in their World Cup last-16 tie against England.

The Three Lions saw the job through on penalties at the Spartak Stadium on Tuesday evening after being pegged back at 1-1 at the very end of normal time.

American referee Mark Geiger has been widely criticised for his failure to take control of a match that constantly threatened to boil over.

Maradona in particular was left frustrated by the level of officiating in Moscow, claiming that Harry Kane should have been penalised in the build-up to the penalty that he won and converted to put England in front.

"I saw a monumental theft. I apologise to all the Colombian people, but they must know the players are not to blame," he told Telesur. "It is the man who decides who the referee is who is to blame. A man like [Geiger] should not be put in charge of a game of that magnitude.

"With all due respect, Pierluigi Collina, as the man who designates the referees, he is very bad. He must apologise to the Colombian people. I told [FIFA president] Gianni Infantino that if I worked for FIFA I would change everything. It has to be transparent. That's why I didn't go there.

"The referee will know a lot about baseball, but he has no idea about football. The Colombian players asked for VAR and he did not give it to them. Twice the English threw themselves to the ground and he did not admonish them. This was theft."

Colombia had six players booked across the 120 minutes, with Wilmar Barrios among those to be cautioned for a headbutt on Jordan Henderson.


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Colombia's Wilmar Barrios gestures during the match against England on July 3, 2018
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