Ali Bin Nasser, the referee of the controversial match between Argentina and England in the 1986 quarter-final of the FIF World Cup has put up the ‘hand of God’ ball for auction.
It would be recalled that Diego Maradona created one of the most memorable moments in a World Cup during the high-profile match between the two countries at political war against each other following the Falklands war.
With the infamous ‘hand of God’, the maverick Maradona scored the match’s first goal, sprinting into the box, jumping above England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, punching the ball into the net, and the referee Bin Nasser controversially gave the goal, People Gazzete reports.
For his second goal in the match, the Napoli legend took the ball from his own half and dribbled five England players before slotting the ball into an empty net – a goal voted the ‘Goal of the Century’, according to a 2002 FIFA poll.
Argentina went on to win the World Cup.
Thirty-six years after the infamous incident, Bin Nasser, the owner of the ball, has decided to part ways with the iconic ball.
“This ball is part of international football history. It feels like the right time to be sharing it with the world,” he stated.
According to London-based Graham Budd Auctions, the ball will be auctioned next month, with bidding to start on November 16. Interested buyers can start registering for the bidding contest online. Registration starts on October 28.
The company also said it was anticipating selling the ball for between £2.5 million and £3 million (up to $3.4 million).
“With the history surrounding the ball, we are expecting this lot to be hugely popular when it comes up for auction,” it said.
Maradona died aged 60 in 2020, but the things associated with his name still cost a huge amount of money – the jersey worn by the football icon in the match was sold for around $9.3 million.