England's Stones happy to send 'dirtiest team' Colombia home from World Cup

Friday, 06 Jul, 2018

"I cheered Colombia's goal as if I had headed it myself".

Maradona said American referee Mark Geiger "knows a lot about baseball but has no idea about football" and also criticised FIFA for appointing him to the match in Moscow.

However not everyone saw it that way, with Diego Maradona claiming England had committed a "monumental theft" and were the ones cheating.

As the players left the pitch at half-time Colombia coach Eduardo Urtasun barged into Sterling who said: "I just remember running in and someone stepped in front of me".

The Argentina icon - who has rarely been out of the headlines during Russian Federation 2018 - believes Colombia were victims of a "monumental theft" and laid into the performance of the officials.

"It is the man who decides who the referee is who is to blame. He can not be put in to referee a match of this magnitude".

Maradona further questioned Federation Internationale de Football Association referee Chief Pierluigi Collina's decision to appoint Geiger as the match referee.

Over 170,000 people have signed a petition demanding England's World Cup last-16 match against Colombia is replayed.

"As the captain of legends, I have to tell (FIFA president Gianni) Infantino this can not be left like this". It has to be transparent. That's why I didn't go there.

It was the dirtiest team I've ever come up against, in the respect of when we won a penalty, surrounding the referee, pushing the referee, the headbutt you've all seen, scuffing the penalty spot and a lot of off the ball stuff I'm sure you've not heard about.

The England captain faced a lengthy wait as several Colombia players protested to the referee but he kept his nerve to beat north London rival Ospina, lifting his penalty just over the Arsenal goalkeeper's outstretched leg. The fans wrote that the two players were "dead" and urged them to kill themselves and never to return to Colombia.

England trailed 3-2 in the penalty shootout after Jordan Henderson's shot was saved by David Ospina, but Mateus Uribe hit the bar and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford then stopped Carlos Bacca's kick.

Harry Kane scored his tournament-leading sixth goal to give England the lead with a penalty kick in the 57th minute. "In fact, it was Kane's fault", Maradona went on.

England were the better side without looking too risky but were then gifted the lead when Carlos Sanchez hauled down England's captain and talisman Kane once too often. "Why didn't he use VAR (video assistant referee)?"

Harry Kane had given England the lead from the penalty spot and Colombia's chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals looked slim.