Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ten Shocking World Cup Moments | June 2, 2010 | Every four years, the World Cup produces a smorgasbord of stunning football, great goals and controversial moments that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Here CNN Sport takes a closer look at some of the more contentious incidents from the past 18 stagings of soccer's premier tournament -- events that sparked widespread debate.

We have selected 10 that we believe not only gripped the world of football, but sent shockwaves around the globe as well -- but do you agree with our list?

10. Bobby Moore, 1970

However, their preparations blew up in their faces when Moore was arrested for allegedly stealing a bracelet from a hotel in Bogota, Colombia, where England were playing a warm-up match.

Despite the claims, Moore was allowed to travel with the squad. But, upon returning to Colombian soil on the way to Mexico, he was subsequently placed under house arrest for four days.

Eventually, with no evidence against him, the defender was released, but not before the incident had caused a massive diplomatic row.

9. Brazil v Sweden, 1978

Compared to the great teams of their past, Brazil were in transition -- but they certainly did not have luck on their side in Argentina.

The South Americans ended up finishing third, having remained unbeaten in all of their six matches, but what happened in this opening game should have alerted them that 1978 was not to be their year.

Welsh referee Clive Thomas had the nickname "The Book" because he was a stickler for the rules, and Brazil felt the full force of his fussy nature.

With the match deep in injury-time, and the scoreline at 1-1, Brazil were awarded a corner. The delivery was perfect and Zico was on hand to head home and give Brazil a last-gasp victory.

However, in the two seconds between the corner being taken and Zico scoring, Thomas had blown his whistle for full-time. The goal was chalked off and the perplexed Brazilians raged at Thomas all the way to the changing rooms.

8. Harald Schumacher, 1982

Germany and France were level at 1-1 after an hour of a cracking World Cup semifinal in Seville when a pass from French playmaker Michel Platini found substitute Patrick Battiston in acres of space.

With goalkeeper Schumacher flying out of his goal in an attempt to intercept, Battiston looped the ball over his opponent. However, despite the ball having long gone, Schumacher continued his run, ploughing into Battiston in a sickening fashion.

The Frenchman was knocked unconscious and suffered damaged vertebrae as well as losing two teeth. Unbelievably, not only did Schumacher escape totally unpunished for the incident, the referee failed to even award the French a free-kick.

To rub salt into the wounds, Germany won on penalties to reach the final.

7. England v West Germany, 1966

England, the nation that brought football to the world, had reached the final of the World Cup on the hallowed turf of London's Wembley Stadium.

After 89 minutes, the hosts led 2-1 and seemed destined for victory. However, a last-gasp Wolfgang Weber goal sent the match into extra-time, and a fired-up German side smelled victory.

But, with 11 minutes of extra-time played, Geoff Hurst's shot bounced back off the underside of the German crossbar and down onto the goal line before being cleared. Fellow striker Roger Hunt turned away in celebration, convinced the whole of the ball had crossed the line.

After a period of uncertainty, linesman Tofik Bakhramov from Azerbaijan confirmed the goal. The Germans were incensed, and the TV technology of the time proved inconclusive.

There is no doubt that the goal changed the course of the game, and Hurst later became the only man to score a final hat-trick with a last-gasp fourth for England.

6. Chile v Italy, 1962

Probably the most violent game of football in World Cup history is universally known as the "Battle of Santiago."

In the aftermath of a powerful earthquake just two years earlier, Chile had made a success of hosting the tournament. However, two Italian journalists unwisely decided to write a disparaging article about capital city Santiago, which fanned the flames before the match.

The 90 minutes that followed saw English referee Ken Aston completely lose control of proceedings. Police had to intervene three times as both sides exchanged punches and kicks with alarming regularity. Add in some spitting for good measure, and it's easy to picture the scene.

Bizarrely, the host nation finished the match with all 11 men on the field, while Italy had two players dismissed. The final score, which seemed to be completely lost in a haze of violence, was 2-0 to Chile.

5. France v Kuwait, 1982

France were coasting to victory in this group game in Valladolid, Spain. Leading 3-1 and with the clock ticking, Alain Giresse burst through unchallenged to add a fourth goal.

However, the Kuwaitis claimed they stopped playing because they had heard a whistle, and TV replays clearly picked up the sound of a whistle, presumably blown by somebody in the crowd.

This infuriated Kuwaiti FA president Prince Fahid, who promptly stormed onto the pitch and demanded that his players walked off in protest. Inexplicably, Russian referee Miroslav Stupar bowed to the Kuwaiti protest and chalked off a totally legitimate goal.

To make the situation even more bizarre, France defender Maxime Bossis then went on to score his only international goal in 76 matches to revert the scoreline to its rightful position with just a minute remaining.

4. Zinedine Zidane, 2006

Zidane, the man who almost single-handedly won the World Cup eight years earlier, had been brought out of international retirement to help struggling France through their qualification group.

Installed as captain, the midfield maestro then produced a succession of brilliant displays to help France reach the final against Italy in Berlin, being named the tournament's best player in the process.

With retirement beckoning after the match, the scene was set for Zidane to go out on a high, and his early penalty put the French ahead. However, Marco Materazzi leveled for Italy, and those two players were to take center stage in the ensuing extra-time period.

With 10 minutes remaining, Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo was alerted to the fact that Materazzi was writhing on the floor in agony. Television replays showed Zidane firmly planting a head butt into the midriff of the Italian defender and, although Elizondo had missed it, he showed Zidane a red card on the strength of the fourth official's advice.

Zidane later claimed that Materazzi had insulted a member of his family, and has never apologized for the incident -- a sad end to a glittering career.

3. West Germany v Austria, 1982

West Germany had flopped disastrously in the previous finals in 1978. They entered that tournament as the defending champions, but just one win in six games meant the pressure was on in Spain -- which intensified when the Germans suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Algeria in their opening match.

Victory over Chile followed, meaning that a win over Austria in the final group game would secure Germany's qualification to the second phase.

Austria had won their first two matches, and could afford to lose 1-0 and still qualify, but a heavy defeat would let in Algeria -- who had already played their three games.

Horst Hrubesch scored for Germany in the 10th minute and, with the result benefiting both teams, the remaining 80 minutes became a stroll in the Gijon sunshine.

Algeria were out, and a public outcry followed -- so much so that governing body FIFA subsequently changed its rules, and the final two matches in a group are now played simultaneously.

2. Andres Escobar, 1994

Colombia were viewed as one of the favorites for overall victory in the United States, but a disappointing 3-1 defeat by Romania in their opening group game meant the pressure was on for the next match against the host nation, in front of nearly 100,000 people in Pasadena.

With the scores level after 34 minutes, Atletico Nacional full-back Escobar deflected a cross from John Harkes into his own net. The U.S. eventually won the match 2-1 and the highly-fancied Colombians were heading home despite beating Switzerland in their final group match.

Just 10 days after his error, Escobar was shot 12 times outside a bar in his home city of Medellin. Speculation abounded about the motives, with reports that Escobar's own-goal had cost local betting syndicates a small fortune.

A local teacher was found guilty of his murder, and served just 11 years in jail. Escobar was only 27 years of age, and a nation mourned his death.

1. Diego Maradona, 1986

Just four years earlier, Argentina and England had been at war over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. Casualties were high on both sides in some of the bloodiest battles seen anywhere since the end of World War II.

With tensions still high between the nations, fate decreed that they were drawn together in the quarterfinals in Mexico City.

Aged 25, Maradona was at his peak, running at defenses with devastating pace and skill. In the 51st minute, one such surge resulted in the ball looping into the air off a defender, before Maradona punched it into the net just ahead of the advancing goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

Incensed England players claimed handball -- and the TV replays and photos of the incident were conclusive -- but the goal stood.

Maradona was to go on and score one of the greatest goals in history as Argentina won the game 2-1 on their way to eventually lifting the trophy.

Maradona, now Argentina's national coach, later admitted what he had done, famously claiming it was the "Hand of God," and so maintaining a rivalry between the countries which stands to this day.

He later wrote in his autobiography that the incident was "revenge" for the Malvinas war: "We blamed the English players for everything that happened, for all the suffering of the Argentine people." (Nino Guevara Ruwano)


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