Learn about nine of the darkest episodes in World Cup history

Andrey Siles

andreisiles.asesor@larepublica.net | Saturday November 19, 2022 05:00 pm

The soccer world is filled with hubbub every four years with the celebration of the World Cup, but throughout the history of these competitions, events have occurred that have attacked the image of said event and even the integrity of its protagonists, according to a publication of the Spanish magazine Libero.

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Uruguay 1930: In the first World Cup, the representative of Romania was made up of oil workers who were handpicked by King Carol II. Although the story is more curious than sad, the one who had a bad time was the monarch who failed to arrive in time to see his National Team.

Italy 1934: In a completely unsportsmanlike act, Benito Mussolini nationalized two players of Argentine nationality, one of them Emilio Badini, who ended up breaking his ribs in a clash on the pitch with the Spanish Ricardo Zamora. Both were sent off, but Spain ended up losing in the quarterfinals.

Sweden 1958: racist reasons were the ones that almost left the Brazilian star out of the competition’Pele‘ and his partner Garrincha, because of a report that recommended not allowing them to play because they are “emotionally unstable” because of their racial ethnicity. The final ended with a victory for the cariocas, on the field and in favor of human rights.

England 1966: Italian players publicly denounced they were drugged with anxiolytics before their elimination against North Korea, due to a plot by their own federation.

Argentina 1978: an episode of crimes against humanity took place just 700 meters from the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires where the grand final was being played, with the approval of the dictator Rafael Videla and the then president of FIFA, Joao Havelange.

Spain 1982: the celebration of the host country for leaving behind the sad episode of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco contrasted with the football defeat when they fell against Italy in the second round, despite the high expectations of the Iberians.

Italy 1990: the first World Cup in which Costa Rica participated It almost cost the lives of the players of the Brazilian team, since the attempt to poison this team was known on the day of their commitment against Argentina in the round of 16, according to what Diego Armando Maradona himself later declared.

United States 1994: several players of the Colombia selectionand even his own coach Francisco Maturana, received death threats, one of them consummated to the center-back Andrés Escobar in the city of Medellín, ten days after his own goal left his team out of this World Cup.

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Korea-Japan 2002: The questioned arbitration of the Ecuadorian center back Byron Montero in the match between South Korea and Italy reached a court in Rome, due to the expulsion of Francesco Totti and the disallowed goal for Damiano Tomassi.

Learn about nine of the darkest episodes in World Cup history