Diego Maradona made no secret of the fact he was supporting Colombia for their 2018 World Cup Round of 16 clash against England on Tuesday night.
The Argentina legend, who has already made headlines on several occasions at this summer’s showpiece international tournament, streamed the game live on his Instagram while wearing a Colombia shirt.
Maradona, who was public enemy number one in England for a while after his infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal in the 1986 World Cup finals, was desperate to see Colombia advance to the quarter-finals at the expense of the Three Lions.
However, the 57-year-old was left bitterly disappointed after England won - yes, won - on penalties.
Colombia go out of the competition while England will now compete with Sweden on Saturday afternoon for a place in the World Cup semi-finals.
England fans are riding the crest of a wave following their first ever penalty shoot-out victory at a World Cup finals.
They feared the worst at the end of extra-time but Jordan Pickford’s save from Carlos Bacca allowed Eric Dier to win it for England from 12 yards.
Maradona gives controversial reaction to England's win
England’s victory, however, has led to a controversial reaction from the aforementioned Maradona, who has called the result a “monumental theft on the pitch” - much to the anger of English football fans.
“I saw a monumental theft,” Maradona is quoted as saying by the Mirror. “I apologise to all the Colombian people, but they must know the players are not to blame.
“It is the man who decides who the referee is who is to blame. A man like that [referee Mark 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."
'The referee has no idea about football'
He continued" “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.”
Maradona was clearly incensed by the performance of American referee Geiger, who perturbed the Argentine icon by awarding England a second-half penalty when Carlos Sanchez dragged Harry Kane to the ground.
Asked what his biggest objection was, Maradona was quoted by Yahoo as saying: “The penalty. The penalty was not a penalty.
"It was Kane's fault. The rules allow for VAR assistance, yes or no? Why did he not ask for the VAR? It is not possible, this has to be denounced."
We get that you don’t like England, Diego, but how was that *not* a penalty?
It’s safe to say these latest comments won’t exactly help to endear him to English football fans.News Now - Sport News