Maradona sympathy over Lampard 'goal'

England were today offered sympathy for Frank Lampard's disallowed goal by one of their fans' greatest hate figures - Diego Maradona.

The Argentina coach, reviled ever since his 'Hand of God' goal in 1986, said had the goal against Germany been given it could have turned the match in England's favour.

Maradona was speaking after Argentina claimed a place in the quarter-finals against Germany following a 3-1 victory over Mexico that saw a blatantly offside goal by Carlos Tevez.

Maradona said: "Today we saw that goal that was ruled out for England and you know that I'm not a great fan of England but that could have made that game 2-2 and it could have been extra time.

"These errors happen, but against England Germany played well, it was an open match and they were not kicking each other.

"For us, Lionel Messi gets kicked around and the referee does not act.

"Whenever Messi has the ball everyone is trying to kick his legs, what is being done to Messi is a scandal - they don't even look for the ball they try to kick him."