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Maradona asks for Hand of God to end coronavirus pandemic

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Gimnasia la Plata boss Diego Maradona has said that he wishes a "Hand of God" would help the world defeat the coronavirus pandemic rather than save his side from relegation.

The Argentine Football Association voted to suspend relegation for two seasons on Tuesday, saving the Maradona-coached Gimnasia, who are bottom of the league, from going down.

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"This happened to us today and many people are calling it a new Hand of God," Maradona said, who dubbed his notorious hand-assisted goal against England in the 1986 World Cup as the "Hand of God."

"But today I am asking for that hand to do away with the pandemic so people can get back to living their lives, with health and happiness."

Maradona said he disagreed with the decision to suspend relegation for two years but called the favourable ruling "a prize."

The 59-year-old was appointed in September 2019 but struggled in his first months at the club and announced his intention to resign in November with his side bottom of the league. The Argentine boss stayed after a fan outcry, although he was unable to lift his side off the bottom of the table.

Argentina has so far recorded 4,127 confirmed coronavirus cases, registering 214 deaths.