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Top 9 FIFA World Cup Controversies

by Thomaz Oseghale
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FIFA World Cup Controversies

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in international football, bringing together teams from around the globe to compete for the ultimate prize. However, throughout its history, the World Cup has not been without its fair share of controversies. From disputed goals to questionable refereeing decisions, let’s take a look at the top 9 FIFA World Cup controversies that have left fans and players alike in disbelief.

9 FIFA World Cup Controversies

Let’s now explore the top 9 FIFA World Cup controversies that have left fans and players in disbelief. From the Hand of God goal to Zidane’s headbutt, these controversial moments have sparked debates and divided opinions. Read on to learn more about these incidents in the history of the FIFA World Cup.

1. The Hand of God – 1986

In the quarter-final match between Argentina and England in 1986, Argentine legend Diego Maradona famously punched the ball into the net, which was later dubbed the “Hand of God” goal. Despite protests from the English players, the goal stood, leading to Argentina’s victory.

2. Zidane’s Headbutt – 2006

In the 2006 World Cup final between France and Italy, French captain Zinedine Zidane shocked the world by headbutting Italian defender Marco Materazzi. Zidane was shown a red card and sent off, leaving France with 10 men. Italy went on to win the match and lift the trophy.

3. Disallowed Goal – 1966

In the final of the 1966 World Cup between England and West Germany, Geoff Hurst’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced down. The goal was controversially awarded, despite claims that the ball did not cross the line. This decision had a significant impact on the outcome of the match, with England eventually winning 4-2.

4. Suarez’s Handball – 2010

In a quarter-final match between Uruguay and Ghana in 2010, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez deliberately handled the ball on the goal line to prevent a certain goal. As a result, Suarez was sent off, but Ghana missed the subsequent penalty, and Uruguay eventually won the match in a dramatic penalty shootout.

5. The Battle of Nuremberg – 2006

The 2006 World Cup match between Portugal and the Netherlands is remembered for its record-breaking number of yellow and red cards. A total of 16 yellow cards and 4 red cards were shown, making it one of the most ill-tempered matches in World Cup history.

6. The Disgrace of Gijon – 1982

In a highly controversial match between West Germany and Austria in the 1982 World Cup, both teams seemed content with a 1-0 West German victory, which allowed both teams to progress to the next round at the expense of Algeria. The match was heavily criticized for its lack of competitiveness and sportsmanship.

7. The Hand of Vata – 1994

In a group stage match between Brazil and the United States in the 1994 World Cup, Brazilian defender Branco was given a bottle of water by a member of the Brazilian coaching staff. Unbeknownst to him, the water had been spiked, and he subsequently collapsed on the field. This incident resulted in a replay of the match, which Brazil won.

8. The Battle of Santiago – 1962

The group stage match between Chile and Italy in the 1962 World Cup is infamous for its violent and aggressive nature. The match featured numerous fouls and punches, leading to two red cards and several injuries. The game is often considered one of the dirtiest matches in World Cup history.

9. The Disputed Penalty – 2018

In the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia in the 2018 World Cup, Spanish defender Gerard Pique was controversially adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area. The penalty was awarded, and Russia went on to win the match in a penalty shootout, eliminating Spain from the tournament.

This article was updated 1 month ago

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