World Cup Controversies

The World Cup has always been controversial both on and off the field of play, though some controversies stand out more than others. Here we will take a look at some of the famous ones; not even the world's best football/soccer pundits would have predicted any of these!

For some time there had been little love lost between Latin America and England (due in part to the fact that England had been suspected of fixing their victory in the 1966 World Cup) and when England set off for the Mexican World Cup in 1970 accompanied by a cargo of frozen food so the England players would not have the ignominy of eating local food, it was just too much for their Latino hot blood. On route England stopped off in Columbia and when they did the England Captain Bobby Moore was arrested for alleged theft and detained in custody whist the rest of the team continued their journey to Mexico. Eventually Moore was released but by then the whole preparation had been disrupted.

Everyone knows about the 'Hand of God' controversy but still we must mention it. It was in the 1986 World Cup when England faced Argentina in the quarter finals. Again there was no love lost between the sides; after all they had recently fought a war in the Falklands. Maradona, in the 51st minute of the game, scored a goal by punching the ball into the net. That he had was apparent to all who had seen it on television, the spectators and most of the players, but the referee allowed the goal. Maradona got his comeuppance two World Cups later; he was banned for taking drugs.

Our final controversy concerns the 1966 World Cup final in which England beat Germany. Although England beat Germany fair and square, England's winning goal became controversial. By gull time the score was Germany 2 England 2 and the game went into extra time. After 11 minutes had been played, Geoff Hurst powered in a ball from inside the box. The ball hit the underneath of the cross-bar and subsequently bounced either over or on the line; the Russian referee awarded the goal.