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Worst Faux Pas in FIFA World Cup History

Worst Faux Pas in FIFA World Cup History

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup is underway, and millions of people who can’t make it to Brazil for the live action are tuning in each day to see their countries compete on the international stage. It’s a chance to see one of the world’s most popular sports played by athletes who have come close to perfecting their sport.

It’s also a good time to reflect back on the decades of World Cup football’s absolute worst mistakes, blunders, and general faux pas in FIFA World Cup history.

Sources: BleacherReport.com, Sports.Xin.MSN.com

MundailOnline.com
MundailOnline.com

Andres Escobar’s deadly mistake

In 1994, Colombian defender Andres Escobar accidentally diverted a ball from John Harkes of the U.S. team, into his own net, allowing the Americans to go up 2-1 and win the game. Ten days later, Escobar was murdered in Medellin, Colombia by drug lords who blamed him for their gambling losses. A deadly mistake, indeed.

WorldCupBlog.com
WorldCupBlog.com

Zinedine Zidane’s “coup de tête”

During the 2006 World Cup final, France was playing against Italy, and was being led by captain and all-around great player, Zinedine Zidane. Shortly after halftime, however, Zidane gave in to taunting by Italian player Marco Materazzi and head butted him to the ground. Zidane received a red card, was sent out of the game and France ended up losing the match in penalty kicks after another player was forced to take the spot that Zidane had vacated.

TheGuardian.com
TheGuardian.com

The ‘Hand of God’ goal

During the quarter finals in 1986, Argentina faced off against England in a match officiated by Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser. Diego Maradona scored a controversial goal in which he clearly used his hand, but Bin Nasser allowed the goal to stand, and Argentina won the game. The incident took on a life of its own after Maradona claimed in an interview that the “hand of God” allowed him to score the goal.

BBC.co.uk
BBC.co.uk

Graham Poll’s three yellow cards

In the 2006 tournament, English referee Graham Poll issued Croatian defender Josep Simunic two yellow cards during Croatia’s match against Australia, but forgot to send him off the field. It wasn’t until there were only a few seconds to go that Poll realized his error and issued Simunic a third yellow card to send him off the field, and the match finished in a 2-2 draw.

Komer.ee
Komer.ee

Mwepu Ilunga “didn’t know the rules”

Mwepu Ilunga, playing for then-Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in the 1974 World Cup, made headlines when he ran out of his team’s defensive wall and kicked away a free kick that was meant for Brazil before it was in play. He received a caution, and many assumed that he didn’t know the rules of the game. Years later, he said in an interview that he was aware of the rules, but did it in an attempt to get a red card. Why? To protest the way in which his country’s authorities were allegedly mispaying players.

SportsIllustrated.CNN.com
SportsIllustrated.CNN.com

An unpunished flagrant foul

During the 1982 semifinal between Germany and France, French defender Patrick Battiston went for a loose ball against German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher. Battiston ended up getting smashed in the face by Schumacher’s hip, and was knocked unconscious, slipped into a coma and lost three teeth. What should have been a red card for Schumacher went unpunished by Dutch referee Charles Corver, and Germany was given a gold kick instead. They went on to win the match in penalties.

MyGeekForLife.Wordpress.com
MyGeekForLife.Wordpress.com

Tofik Bakhramov’s 1966 assist

Tofik Bakhramov, a lineman from Azerbaijan, was helping officiate the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany. During extra time, English striker Geoff Hurst hit a shot off the crossbar that bounced down without crossing the goal line. Bakhramov called it a goal, and England won the match, and the World Cup, 3-2.

TheShinGuardian.com
TheShinGuardian.com

The handball that wasn’t

In 2002, the U.S. was coming off a huge win against rival Mexico and was in the quarter finals for the first time in the country’s history. In its match against Germany, the U.S. was trailing 1-0 in the 50th minute when U.S. defender Gregg Berhalter took a shot that German defender Torsten Frings stopped with his hand. The referee didn’t make the call, which would have given the U.S. a penalty kick and the chance to tie the game. Germany went on to win handily.

DailyMail.co.uk
DailyMail.co.uk

The worst flop in history

During the 2002 World Cup match between Turkey and Brazil, Turkish wingback Hakan Ünsal gently passed the ball to Brazilian midfielder Rivaldo, so that he could take the corner kick for Brazil. The ball hit Rivaldo in the thigh, who then proceeded to take the most astounding flop in history, pretending he had been hit in the face. Ünsal was sent off with a red card and Brazil went on to win the game. Though Turkey probably wouldn’t have won the match anyway, it was still absurd.

Online.WSJ.com
Online.WSJ.com

Moacir Barbosa’s 50 years of punishment

Moacir Barbosa played goalie for Brazil in the 1950 World Cup, and his team faced Uruguay in the finals. He gave up a goal against Uruguayan winger Alcides Ghiggia when he left his post with 11 minutes remaining in the match. Uruguay won the match and the World Cup 2-1 in a game considered one of the biggest upsets in football history. Years later, Barbosa spoke about the incident in an interview, saying, “Under Brazilian law the maximum sentence is 30 years. But my imprisonment has been for 50 years.”

Source: BleacherReport.com