Argentina ask for Diego Maradona ‘Hand of God’ shirt before it’s put up for auction for £5m

Diego Maradona’s iconic shirt is up for sale at Sotheby’s

Argentina has pleaded with former England star Steve Hodge to not auction Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt for £5million and instead sell it to them.

The 59-year-old played in the infamous match t the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, flicking the ball up for the legendary forward to score the iconic goal with his hand.

Maradona, who died in 2020, embraced Hodge and swapped shirts, leaving the former Tottenham and Nottingham Forest midfielder in possession of the highly-coveted No 10 shirt.

And Hodge has since put the jersey up for sale, with the auction set to close today.

The shirt immediated gardnered worldwide attention, with a £5m bid swiftly lodged, which would make it the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia ever sold.

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Top of the list is a Babe Ruth jersey, with the New York Yankees top worn between 1928-30 and fetching $5.64m (£4.4m) in 2019 by Hunt Auctions.

But now that may be surpassed unless an Argentine delegation can intervene, having travelled to London in a desperate bid to bring the shirt back to a Maradona museum in Buenos Aires.

Members from the Argentine FA, Maradona’s family and a private memorabilia firm are looking to convince Hodge to instead hand the shirt back.

“He is selling something that belongs to Maradona and the AFA without authorisation,” one member of the delegation said, according to the Sun.

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

Diego Maradona’s iconic shirt is up for sale at Sotheby’s

Having initially loaned the shirt to Manchester’s National Football Museum, Hodge may now face a legal battle over the shirt.

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Maradona’s family also claim that Hodge has possession of the shirt Maradona used in the first half, meaning it is not the shirt worn to score the notorious goal, scored in the 51st minute of the second half at the Estadio Azteca.

However, Sotherbys claim they have verified beyond doubt that it is the authentic shirt, leading to a flurry of bids.

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