Diego Maradona’s eldest daughter asserts that the Argentina shirt anticipated to sell for several million dollars when it is sold at auction this month is not the one that her late father wore when he scored the well-known “Hand of God” goal versus England.
Dalma Maradona stated the shirt which is supposed to go under the hammer was actually the one worn by her father during the without any goal first half of the 1986 World Cup quarter-final.
Steve Hodge, the former England player who states Maradona exchanged shirts with him at the end of the match in Mexico City, is selling the shirt, which is set to grab more than £4 million ($5.2 million).
Auctioneers Sotheby’s strongly disproved Dalma Maradona’s claims, saying an outsider company had given a ‘conclusive photo match’ that proved it was genuine.
Sotheby’s also noted that Maradona himself had previously admitted exchanging his shirt with Hodge in the player’s tunnel following their 1986 World Cup classic.
Nevertheless Dalma Maradona maintains the jersey her father wore in the second half — when he also scored one of the magnificent goals in World Cup history — was in the hands of another owner, nonetheless denied to name them.
“It’s not that one. I don’t want to say who has it because it’s crazy. He (Diego Maradona) said it. He stated, ‘How am I going to give him the shirt of my life?’” she notified reporters.
“This former player thinks he has my dad’s second-half jersey, but it’s a mix-up. He has the one from the first half.”
“We wanted to clarify that so that people who want to buy it know the truth,” Dalma stated.
A Sotheby’s representative notified AFP, “There was indeed a different shirt worn by Maradona in the first half, but there are clear differences between that and what was worn during the goals.”
“And so, prior to putting this shirt for sale, we did extensive diligence and scientific research on the item to make sure it was the shirt worn by Maradona in the second half for the two goals.”
The photo matching process had included matching the shirt ‘to both goals examining unique details on various elements of the item, including the patch, stripes, and numbering.’
It appended that Maradona himself had admitted the source of the shirt himself, in his book “Touched by God,” and he commemorates giving it to Hodge when the game ended.
“On the way to the locker room, one of the English guys – it turned out to be Hodge, but I wasn’t sure at the time – asked me to swap jerseys with him. I said yes and we did,” Maradona cited in his 2016 memoir about Argentina’s 1986 World Cup victory.
Hodge, who cited a 2010 autobiography titled “The Man with Maradona’s Shirt,” paints a close picture of the exchange.
“Maradona was walking with two of his teammates. I looked him in the eye, tugged on my shirt as if to say ‘any chance of swapping?’, and he came straight across, motioned a prayer, and we exchanged shirts. And that was it. It was just as simple as that,” he stated.
The Sotheby’s representative also noted that the shirt had been a prized reveal at England’s National Football Museum for the past 2 decades, ‘where innumerable people have seen it.’
“There has never been a claim that it’s not the shirt,” she stated.
The online auction is all set for 20th of April to 4th of May.
It is not the first time that the genuineness of a football shirt being hammered has come under scrutiny.
In 2018, a jersey reportedly worn by Zinedine Zidane during France’s 1998 World Cup final win versus Brazil was taken down from auction shortly prior going under the hammer after doubts over its originality.