The World Cup can provide the whole range of emotions. Comedy doesn't always spring to mind,
but there has been a rich seam of great comedy moments ever since Jules Rimet set fire to
his own hat to mark the official start of the inaugural 1930 tournament. Sadly, that
didn't make the cut. Ten that did though are listed below, including one 'Supreme' effort
(Arf, Arf eh readers!). Over to you Diana...
1 1994 - Diana Ross 'penalty kick'
If there is one thing the Americans are brilliant at, it's putting on a great show.
So where the hell were they in 1994 when the World Cup came to town? Still, the lame
opening ceremony provided a number of classic moments. Who could forget Oprah Winfrey?
What do you mean everyone; she was there, for no apparent reason. However, we all love that
moment when Diana Ross dances down the pitch to take a penalty. Ross pulls her effort wide
and the goalposts inexplicably collapse. Years later Ross overcame her mental anguish
from the incident when she famously appeared in a Pizza advert with Darius Vassell.
2 1974 - Zaire's Wall 'defends' a free kick
Arguably the most effective way of defending a free kick yet devised. Just before the
opposition (Brazil in this case) are about to bend one in, send one of the lads from the
wall to clear it before the ref has even blown his whistle. A baffling, wonderful bit of
World Cup magic.
3 1978 - Peru's keeper gets a booking...
...in the opposition half. Brilliant stuff. The kind of slapstick comedy that Laurel and
Hardy spent years perfecting. Ramon Quiroga was the name, El Loco (The Madman) was the
nickname and he established legendary status when rugby tackling Grzegorz Lato to earn
himself a booking, 70 yards away from his own goal line!
4 2006 - Graham Poll
You work your way to the very top of your profession. You become the best in the entire
country. You have a worldwide stage. And you completely cock it up. Poor Graham, he'll only
be remembered for this. It was the equivalent of David Jason turning up drunk at the
Royal Variety Performance and giving the Queen the W@**ers sign while urinating on stage.
5 1990 - Massing v Caniggia
Benjamin Massing was a huge Cameroonian defender with a simple motto. If it moves kick it.
If it doesn't move, kick it anyway. Claudio Caniggia was certainly moving when he avoided
two attempts to launch him into space. Benjamin wasn't going to miss him though. As we all
so desperately wanted Cameroon to win we forgot the awful assault and remembered Massing,
as he walked from the pitch giving regal waves to the Milan crowd.
6 1978 - Ally's Army
Classic Scotland. Perhaps their finest hour in a curious sort of way. Beating a path to
Argentina on the back a triumphalist parade around Hampden to celebrate their impending
victory in the World Cup (!), Scotland contrived to be stuffed by Peru before a humiliating
draw against Iran. Typically, they then beat eventual finalists, Holland, by not quite enough
goals to qualify.
7 1962 - The Battle of Santiago
Even by today's standards this was the real deal when it came to player violence.
So violent in fact, that we can't justify to ourselves that it was funny. What was funny
though, was David Coleman's magnificently disgusted, Outraged of Tunbridge Wells, intro
to the match.
"The game you are about to see..."
8 1950 - USA beat England
Thank god we weren't alive in 1950. As Sir Walter Winterbottom famously noted "Football?
9 1994 - Aldridge loses the plot
Has the subtle Scouse accent ever been so delicately articulated on a World Cup touchline?
Aldo belied his working class Scouse roots with an Oscar Wilde style denunciation of a
fourth official who didn't care for the cut of his jib.
10 1982 - Kuwait walk off
The Kuwaiti defence hear a whistle as the French attack. They commit the cardinal sin of
stopping as Giresse slips through to score. An amazing impasse follows as the team refuse
to carry on, under orders from the sheiks in the crowd who control Kuwaiti football.
If Opec met in a public park it would look a bit like this. Sadly, common sense prevailed
and the game continued. Sheikh in the crowd. Now there's an idea for a competition...