Indeed, with the 2010 World Cup less than a month away, let’s look back at five unsavoury World Cup scandals (perhaps not the right description since the opposite of unsavoury is actually ‘sweet’, but you know what I mean):
1. Diego Maradona, Mexico 1986
Where else to start other than the ‘Fist of Lucifer’ (or Hand of God, you say tomato…). With the score at 0 – 0, and the game evenly poised, just minutes into the second half the England v Argentina Quarter Final, little Maradona ‘out jumps’ Shilton and punches the ball home, even having the cheek to imply it was God’s will.
2. West Germany and Austria, Spain 1982:
Meeting in the final group game, Germany and Austria were aware that a Germany victory by the odd goal would send both through to the next round at the expense of an Algerian side which had famously beaten West Germany in the groups opening fixture; a result for Austria would send the Germans home, whilst a large victory for West Germany could see Austria miss out on the next round. A shameful show ensued in which, after the Germans took an early lead, West Germany and Austria played out a farcical match at walking pace, passing the ball around the backlines and actively not attempting to attack…who mentioned Anschluss?
3. Bobby Moore, Mexico 1970:
Whist in Columbia for a pre-tournament friendly, Moore was sensationally accused of, and arrested for, stealing a bracelet from a jewellery store. With weak evidence and diplomatic pressure, what could have become a living nightmare for many eventually resulted in the case being dropped and Moore joining the England squad in Mexico; the tournament in which he made an infamously sublime tackle on Jairzinho.
4. Diego Maradona USA 1994:
That man again. He didn’t look right; the manic eyeball-heavy celebration against Greece. After testing ‘positive’ for ephedrine he was banned from the remainder of the tournament and sent packing.
5. Italy and Chile, Chile 1962:
Scandal may not be the right word, but this bloodbath is infamous for continuous, vicious and deliberate fouling. Punches, kicking, refusing to leave the pitch, the ‘Battle of Santiago’ was played in an already tense atmosphere after unflattering comments about the host county by two Italian journalists, and only got worse. It warrants a place on the list if only for the reporters utter horror and damnation in the video below, enjoy…
For Battle of Santiago Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOtL1m1o_ok&feature=related
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