The final round of 16 fixture of the 2018 FIFA World Cup saw Colombia take on England last night as The Three Lions eventually trumped the Colombians after a penalty shoot-out decided the game in their favour.
England made history by winning their first-ever penalty shoot-out at a World Cup to qualify for the quarter-finals whilst Colombia found themselves knocked out of the grandest tournament of them all.
While England and their supporters understandably celebrated their achievement, the game seems to have gathered quite a lot of controversial attention, largely due to questionable refereeing by the American official in charge of the game, Mark Geiger.
In fact, Colombian forward, Radamel Falcao, spoke out after the game, slamming the referee by calling him biased for several decisions made during the match which saw 6 Colombian players getting booked.
Now, in a surprising turn of events, Argentina legend, Diego Maradona has also gone on a stunning anti-England rant to vent his feelings after last night’s match, dubbing the result as a “monumental theft”.
In a scathing interview on Argentine TV (via The Sun), Maradona blasted the referee and the people responsible for instating him, by saying:
“I apologise to all the Colombian people, but they must know the players are not to blame.
“It is the man who decides who is the referee who is to blame.
“A man like that 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 57-year-old legend also criticized FIFA and its President, Gianni Infantino:
“I told 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 knows 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.”
Diego Maradona has become the centre of attraction at the World Cup due to his controversial antics but this rant is expected to resonate with tens of thousands of football fans who feel similarly about last night’s match.
Meanwhile, England have qualified for the quarter-finals of the competition and will take on Sweden in the next round.