The beautiful game of football can at times, get a little ugly. From facial injuries, to non-goals, to spitting, here are some of the most shocking moments in the history of FIFA World Cup.
The Sheikh Says (1982)
France had a fantastic attacking team during the 1982 World Cup in Spain but Kuwaiti sheikh Fahad-al-Sabah had an idea as to how to stop them during their group stage match-up. The charismatic sheikh pulled his team off the pitch becasue he claimed France scored a goal that shouldn’t have stood, citing whistles from the crowd confusing his nation’s team. He stormed onto the pitch and a ruckus ensued.
Believe it or not, the referee succumbed to the pressure from the sheikh and disallowed the goal. Though France still went on to win. This moment remains the first and so far only time a member of the crowd contributed the disallowing a goal.
Uruguayan Handball (2010)
In the two World Cup tournaments Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez has featured in, he has provided us with some memorable moments. Of course in the 2014 edition of the World Cup, Suárez took a bite out of his opponent Giorgio Chiellini. However, we are going with his antics in the 2010 World Cup, which has been deemed by some to be one of the most unsporting moments in tournament history.
With Uruguay and Ghana tied 1-1 in the last minute of extra time in their quarterfinal match-up, Suárez used his hands to save what would have been the winner for Ghana, thus receiving a red card. Ghana failed to convert the ensuing penalty, and lost the shootout as well, thus vindicating Suárez’s decision, well, in his eyes.
Hand of God (1986)
It needs no explanation. Diego Maradona’s Hand of God goal against England at the 1986 World Cup is one of the strangest moments in the tournament’s history.
The diminutive Argentina star leaped into the air to challenge Peter Shilton in an aerial battle and surprisingly came out on top as the ball bounced into the net. However, replays showed that Maradona had used his hand to nudge the ball past the England number one.
He did however score one of the tournament’s greatest goals in the same game, so we’ll let him off?
Zidane Goes Out with a Bang (2006)
An absolutely phenomenal career littered with silverware came to an unromantic and abrupt end in the 2006 World Cup final. Zinedine Zidane, one of the game’s greats, would be playing the final match of his career against Italy on the absolute biggest stage there is, where success would see him bow out in deserved fashion.
However, Marco Materazzi and France’s number 10 became embroiled in a war of words on the pitch, leading to Zidane planting his head into the Italian’s chest. He was duly given his marching orders. France consequently lost the game, and a legacy that deserved a fitting send-off received the most notorious finales.
A Coma-Inducing Collision (1982)
The 1982 World Cup was an interesting tournament for the French. After slipping out of the group stages, they found themselves face-to-face with West Germany in the semi-finals. In a close match that eventually ended 3-3 before the shootout, French defender Patrick Battiston was brought onto the pitches as a substitute.
After just 10 minutes, he found himself one-on-one with German keeper Harold Schumacher. Schumacher made no attempt to play the ball, choosing instead to jump hip first into Battiston’s head. A goal kick was awarded, and for his efforts, Battiston lost three teeth, damaged a few vertebrae, needed oxygen on the pitch, and went straight to the hospital. Later that day, he slipped into a coma, but thankfully he ended up making a full recovery.