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WORLD CUP ’90 : Maradona Blames ‘Evil Black Hand’ of Referee : Argentines: Weeping team captain says official granted penalty kick to West Germany because he feared a shootout.

From Associated Press

Argentina blamed referee Edgardo Codesal Mendez rather than its own non-offensive tactics for its loss of the World Cup to West Germany Sunday.

Captain Diego Maradona, who lifted the trophy in Mexico four years ago after his team beat the West Germans, 3-2, spoke of the “evil black hand” of the referee, who awarded the Germans a penalty kick with six minutes to play in regulation.

Andreas Brehme then scored the only goal of the lowest-scoring final ever.

“Our players ran hard, but then came this man who ruined everything for us,” Maradona said of Codesal.

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“This man was scared that we would get to penalties,” said Maradona, whose team eliminated Italy on a penalty shootout in the semifinal. West Germany beat England in the same way in the other semifinal.

“He wanted to make the Italian people happy. The black hand of this man expelled (Pedro) Monzon for a normal action, and later he called a penalty against us from his imagination,” Maradona said.

Explaining why he left the field in tears, the Argentine captain said, “I have been crying for a long time. Soccer has been my life and I wasn’t crying because we got second place, but because of the way we lost.

“This man didn’t have any right to call that penalty.”

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But Maradona also was critical of his own side’s performance.

“You cannot win a match shooting only once at the goal,” he said.

Monzon said of his expulsion: “The German (Juergen Klinsmann) faked the foul the minute I touched him. Klinsmann threw himself like I had broken his leg, and this man, who at all costs wanted us to lose, threw me out.”

Said Argentine midfielder Pedro Troglio of Codesal, a Uruguayan who lives in Mexico: “He was a disaster in the way that he ruined us, especially in the second half. At all costs, he wanted to avoid that we go to penalties.”

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Goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea said he was close to stopping Brehme’s goal.

“I almost saved it, but it was a good shot,” he said. “But the penalty did not exist . . . he was a very partial referee.”

Said West German striker Rudi Voeller: “It was a hard battle. But we attacked, they didn’t.”

“Maradona is the best,” West German captain Lothar Matthaeus said, “but he wasn’t the best today.”

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