‘Hand of God’ linesman, Bogdan Dochev, dies aged 80

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Bogdan Dochev, the assistant referee who didn’t see Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal during the 1986 World Cup match between Argentina and England, has died at the age of 80.

He died in his home country of Bulgaria this week.


He, however, discussed the Maradona goal incident in an interview he held recently.


Dochev said,  “Although I felt immediately there was something irregular, back in that time FIFA didn’t allow the assistants to discuss the decisions with the referee.

“If Fifa had put a referee from Europe in charge of such an important game, the first goal of Maradona would have been disallowed.”

“Diego Maradona ruined my life. He is a brilliant footballer but a small man. He is low in height and as a person.”

He also acted as assistant linesman as Paolo Rossi scored a hat-trick for Italy to eliminate Brazil at the group stage in the 1982 World Cup.

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