Diego Maradona hopes a new ‘Hand of God’ can end the coronavirus pandemic

World Cup winner and soccer legend Diego Maradona said he wishes that the “Hand of God” would help the world to victory over the coronavirus rather than save his team from relegation. Now coaching at Gimnasia de la Plata in the Argentina first division, the coach’s comments come in reference to his famous “Hand of God” moment in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where he scored a goal with his hand to defeat England in the quarterfinals. Argentina would go on to win the World Cup.

On Tuesday, the Argentina Football Association voted to suspend relegation for two seasons, a move that prevents Maradona’s team from potentially going down to the Nacional B. The club was dead last in the relegation battle which is in Argentina is determined by a cumulative average of points across three seasons.

“This happened to us today and many people are calling it a new Hand of God,” Maradona said, according to Reuters. “But today I am asking for that hand to do away with the pandemic so people can get back to living their lives, with health and happiness.”

In Argentina, there is a national stay-at-home order with the country recording 4,127 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 214 deaths. On Tuesday it was revealed Argentina national team player Paulo Dybala has tested positive for the coronavirus four times in the last six weeks

Maradona, 59, joined Gimnasia in 2019 and announced that he would resign in November before being convinced to stay on. He has led his team to some quality results since then. He took the team from 24th place (last) to a 19th-place finish in the league that concluded in early March, nearly spoiling Boca Juniors’ title hopes on the last day of the season. 

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