Now aged 72, former Tunisian referee Ali Bennaceur made one of the most infamous mistakes in World Cup history, allowing Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God’ goal to stand against England.
He never officiated a FIFA World Cup match again after 1986 tournament but has an “eternal friend” in legendary Argentine footballer Diego Maradona.
The former Napoli forward posted on Facebook about meeting the referee of the famous quarter-final, which still infuriates England fans today.
Interestingly, the referee embraced the mistake he made instead of being embarrassed, hanging up a photo of the famous match in his home in Tunisia.
Diego Maradona wrote on Facebook:
This weekend I visited Tunisia and I had an emotional reunion with Ali Bennaceur, the referee of the England match in Mexico 1986. I gave him an Argentina shirt and he gave me the picture of that game that hangs in his home. My dedication: “For Ali, my eternal friend”.
Argentina went on to win the 1986 World Cup in Mexico with captain Diego Maradona winning the esteemed Golden Ball award. No wonder he still has a connection with Ali Bennaceur almost 30 years later.