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    World Cup scandals

    The great World Cup scandals and controversies. Here's my Top 10 of World Cup scandals in my lifetime.


    1966: West-Germany don't beat England 2-1
    None of Hurst's three goals should have stood. Two of them might have been no issue had his equaliser been ruled out. Referee Dienst was still reprimanding Overath for the foul that led to the free kick when Moore took it to float the ball to Hurst who headed it in. Dienst should have ordered the free-kick retaken at a time when he was not deep in conversation with the defence.

    1978: Argentina buys World Cup
    Not just the pretty obvious fix in the Peru game. The way the Dutch were treated before and in the final was shocking. Clearly every ref and every FIFA official was afraid that the junta might invite them for a helicopter ride.

    1982: German-Austria Non-Aggression Pact
    The Angriest people were the Algerians. The second-angriest people were the Germans.

    1982: Kuwait walks off
    The Kuwait sheikh objects to France's perfectly good goal to make it 4-1, and returns to the pitch only after the referee disallows the goal. Kuwait came back to win the game 4-3. Except the didn't. They lost 4-1.

    1982: Schumacher assaults Battiston
    What was he thinking? Thing is, uncompromising as he was as a player and a person, he was also a decent man. But that night in Seville he wasn't. And then he saved two penalties in thew shoot-out. Plus, France, who had such a wonderful team, deserved to be in the final.

    1986: Hand of God
    Would Maradona have scored his wonder goal if not for the Hand of God? Ordinary though England was, I think they might have had a decent chance of beating Argentina if nit for the illegal goal. To think, it coukd have been a West Germany vs Belgium final!

    1994: Maradona busted
    One moment he's spraying victory phlegm into the camera, the next he walks off for a drug test, never to return. Of course, the murder of Escobar overshadowed the 1994 World Cup.

    2002: The Brazil love-in
    We could talk about South Korea against Italy and Portugal (I don't think Spain had a fair complaint), but 2002 sticks in my mind for FIFA's determination to see Ronaldo break a record, to the extent that he was credited with a goal he didn't even score, and -- most of all - for Rivaldo's Golden Raspberry performance in falling over against Turkey. 2002 must be the World Cup when even the most gormless romantics saw the Seleçăofor the Nike-sponsored, self-entitled enemies of o jogo bonito they were and still are.

    2010: Hand of Cunt
    I might gave included 2006's Head of Dunce, but here we have Luis Suarez denying Ghana a place in the semi-final by the most foul means possible, breaking All-Africa's collective heart. And then stood there celebrating when the penalty he caused was missed. Fuck Luis Suarez! Later he'd racially abuse an African-born player. Anything else?

    2014: Teeth of Cunt
    Ah yes. That!

    Add your favourite scandal.

    #2
    1954 Drugged up West Germany just scrape past Hungary (after crocking Puskás)

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      #3
      Ah, you specified your lifetime

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        #4
        And you forgot the word "alleged". The German claimed it was glucose injections (there is no smoking syringe, and the hepatitis the players suffered later could have been from infected syringes administering glucose or amphetamines). But, yeah, German experts would say that the likelihood of the syringes containing a performance-enhancing drug is good.

        Interesting thing in that regard though is that athletes, including footballers, used amphetamine as a matter of course in the '50s. In 1957 a German journalist surveyed English First Division clubs about their use of performance-enhancing "methods". Every club, including Manchester United, was quite open about their use of amphetamines, and they had no reason not to be because doping wasn't banned in football -- nor, apparently, even regarded as morally dodgy. It is on the record that a little later, Everton’s sides in the early 1960s, including the title-winning team of 1963, was doped up on Benzedrine. And Stanley Matthews wrote about using amphetamines in 1946.

        Garrincha noted that amphetamines were used in Brazilian football throughout the 1950s (perhaps in the 1958 World Cup as well). And in 1961 a third of all Italian who were tested had used amphetamines.

        If the German team of Berne was on amphetamines, we can be sure they were not an exception. FIFA outlawed doping only in 1966.

        Whether the Germans were doped up or not (and the extra game they had to play in comparison to Hungary might have compensated for that advantage), it was more likely the rainy weather which won it for them. The ball was rain-soaked and heavy, and on the muddy pitch, the Germans had the advantage of customised studs.

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          #5
          I only bring it up every time in response to your obsession with 1966.

          Actually if you ask anyone from Portugal about 1966 they'll tell you that it was their match against England that was the real scandal in that tournament. And they're right

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            #6
            Surely three out of four goals for the homeside in a World Cup final being wrongly allowed is a legitimate controversy. But yeah, like Argentina in 1978, there seemed to be a a certain home-bias which England benefited from throughout the tournament, as right-wing shitbag Antonio Rattin might testify.

            That would actually be a good thread.

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              #7
              2002 sticks in my mind for FIFA's determination to see Ronaldo break a record, to the extent that he was credited with a goal he didn't even score

              Absolutely this. Miroslav Klose set a new record for World Cup goals in 2014, but he set it against Ghana, not Brazil.

              Speaking of Brazil, their disgraceful non-effort in their final group game against Norway in 1998 (Brazil had already won the group) has always pissed me off, and cost Morocco their deserved place in round 2.

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                #8
                Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 - The fact that they exist at all

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                  #9
                  1962 The Battle of Santiago - and David Coleman's on-screen meltdown.

                  Originally posted by G-Man View Post
                  Surely three out of four goals for the homeside in a World Cup final being wrongly allowed is a legitimate controversy.
                  It isn't a 'legitimate controversy' when there clearly didn't exist the means to test certain incidents to anywhere near a sufficiently-decisive point. Had this been the case, then around a quarter of the goals scored before 1980 - probably anywhere in the world - would likely have been disallowed. (Bear in mind also that by disallowing the first England goal - which was fine anyway - the course of the entire game would've altered and WG wouldn't 'automatically have won 2-1'. Anyway, this particular subject has been somewhat throttled to death on OTF.)

                  (Edit: I say this all the while accepting that Hurst's second and third would unlikely survive modern scrutiny.)
                  Last edited by Jah Womble; 05-03-2018, 15:52.

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                    #10
                    The third goal was a 50/50 call, to be fair. Strangely, it's that one which traumatised West Germany for at least three generations. But the first and fourth goals didn't need testing. During the first, Dienst is still reprimanding a German player as the defence is waiting for him to get done, and contemporary technology provided proof for the fourth in the form of Kenneth Wolstenholme's commentary.

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                      #11
                      https://twitter.com/richard_conway/status/970591913911910400?s=21

                      You have to admire the man’s complete devotion to his brand.

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                        #12
                        With some dedicated detective work we could probably get an arrest warrant for 3 of (West) Germany's titles. We'll leave the 2014 gang alone, they have alibis. Only problem is, to gather the evidence we'd have to call in forensics to investigate the 1990 final again, and that's one crime scene I never want to revisit, even with the DA breathing down my neck. Geoff Hurst was just a petty thief compared to the butchers and fraudsters who got away with murder in that one.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by tee rex View Post
                          We'll leave the 2014 gang alone, they have alibis.
                          Well there was Neuer's Schumacher-Battiston (brief reprise) on Higuain

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                            #14
                            I'm assuming that the only reason for ignoring the controversially-disallowed Hungarian equaliser in the 1954 final is that it wasn't during G-Man's lifetime?

                            A fair few of these aren't really 'scandals', however, so much as they're decisions with which certain people choose to disagree.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post

                              A fair few of these aren't really 'scandals', however, so much as they're decisions with which certain people choose to disagree.
                              Exactly

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                                #16
                                Agree with blameless- that Hadji-inspired Morocco were great

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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by tee rex View Post
                                  With some dedicated detective work we could probably get an arrest warrant for 3 of (West) Germany's titles. We'll leave the 2014 gang alone, they have alibis. Only problem is, to gather the evidence we'd have to call in forensics to investigate the 1990 final again, and that's one crime scene I never want to revisit, even with the DA breathing down my neck. Geoff Hurst was just a petty thief compared to the butchers and fraudsters who got away with murder in that one.
                                  Well, see, thing is, not really. The disallowed Puskas goal most likely was, in fact, off-side.

                                  In 1974, Taylor actually screwed the Germans in the final by disallowing a perfectly good goal for offside, failing to give a nailed-on penalty, and showing not Hoeness but Cruyff's marker Vogts a yellow card for the first-minute penalty foul (which might have been fractionally outside the box). There were no gross refereeing controversies in the other games.

                                  In 1990, we had the Völler red card against Holland (which merited inclusion in my list). In the final, the decisive penalty was none, but then there was a nailed-on penalty denied a few minutes earlier.

                                  Comparing Neuer's foul on Higuain to Schumacher's on Battiston is just silly. But, yeah, Neuer was lucky not be sent off for that.


                                  Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                                  A fair few of these aren't really 'scandals', however, so much as they're decisions with which certain people choose to disagree.
                                  Another word for "Decisions with which certain people choose to disagree" is "controversy", which is the second word after "scandal" in the OP.

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                                    #18
                                    From the non partisan perspective off the top of my head we have that handball on the line against the USA in the QF in 2002 and the penalty awarded to W Germany in the QF in 1990 against Czechoslovakia.

                                    I don't think either of those decisions were scandalous nor evidence of pro Germany bias they were just mistakes. But seemingly any decision that goes against Germany is a conspiracy

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by G-Man View Post
                                      Another word for "Decisions with which certain people choose to disagree" is "controversy", which is the second word after "scandal" in the OP.
                                      Well, it might just be semantics perhaps, but I think (some of) what you're proffering here is just opinion. I mean, your suggestion that Hurst's first goal shouldn't have stood represents the first time that I've ever heard anybody raise that objection. That doesn't suddenly make it a 'controversy'.

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                                        #20
                                        I've actually just watched the Hurst goal as, like JW, this is the first time I'd ever heard that there was any doubt whatsoever. I can't see anything wrong with it. It's clear that the kick is about to be taken, the German player is still arguing with the ref, but that's his own problem. I wouldn;t have any issue with it at all under today's rules. Unless there is some obsolete rule which ought to have ruled it out, it looks perfectly fine to me

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                                          #21
                                          It’s a shame that Arsenal can’t play Germany in a game that means anything.

                                          The resultant thread would be quite entertaining.

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                                            #22
                                            I'll reiterate my earlier point that one cannot really apply current footballing standards to what has gone in the distant past.

                                            Well, one can obviously - for one's own speculation/entertainment - but, in many on-field cases (not all), to start applying terms like 'scandal' and 'controversy' if they weren't met with such at the time is a bit futile, IMO.

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                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
                                              I've actually just watched the Hurst goal as, like JW, this is the first time I'd ever heard that there was any doubt whatsoever. I can't see anything wrong with it. It's clear that the kick is about to be taken, the German player is still arguing with the ref, but that's his own problem. I wouldn;t have any issue with it at all under today's rules. Unless there is some obsolete rule which ought to have ruled it out, it looks perfectly fine to me
                                              Hold on: Overath isn't arguing with the ref. The ref is reprimanding the player. In other words, the referee is distracting the German defence, not vice versa. You can't have the game proceeding if the referee is detaining members of the opposition in a reprimand. Having said that, that was a gorgeous ball into the penalty area, and a well-taken header.

                                              ad hoc, are you sure the penalty against Czechoslovakia was the wrong decision. Klinsmann is in possession of the ball and there is contact. As any co-commentator would say: "I've seen them given." You're right about 2002, of course. The USA was robbed.

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                                                #24
                                                Anyway, I was hoping this thread might raise other examples of controversies and scandals.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Willie Johnston getting sent home in 1978 due to a failed drugs test. I didn't even know that was a thing at that point, and he was a bit of a hero of mine at the time, playing left wing at West Brom, so I got quite a bit of stick at school over it.

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