Argentina beg ex-England star Steve Hodge to abandon £5million auction of Diego Maradona ‘Hand of God’ shirt

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 (Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
(Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Argentine football bosses have begged ex-England star Steve Hodge to pull out of a £5million auction for Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” shirt - and sell it to them instead.

Former Tottenham midfielder Hodge swapped shirts with Maradona after his two goals for Argentina in their infamous World Cup quarter-final win over England in Mexico in 1986.

Hodge put the No10 shirt up for an auction which was due to close on Wednesday.

Maradona passed away last year and the shirt is set to become the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia in history.

But Argentine Football Association (AFA) officials have travelled to London to make a desperate late appeal to get the shirt for a Maradona museum in Buenos Aires.

The shirt is due to go up for auction at Sotheby’s on Wednesday (AFP via Getty Images)
The shirt is due to go up for auction at Sotheby’s on Wednesday (AFP via Getty Images)

A member of that delegation, which includes Maradona’s family and a private memorabilia firm, told the Sun: “He is selling something that belongs to Maradona and the AFA without authorisation.

“It should be in Argentina so Argentines can enjoy it — and not for a millionaire to display it in his closet.”

Hodge had loaned the shirt to the National Football Museum in Manchester but the 59-year-old could now face a legal battle.

Maradona’s family claim Hodge has the shirt the icon used in the first half, and not the ‘Hand of God’ shirt.

But Sotheby's claim they have verified beyond doubt that Hodge has the authentic shirt, which sparked a flood of big bids.

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