The Most Controversial Moments in Football History
The details of each football match, regardless of its level and importance, are permanently recorded to be available to fans and critics. But does the excitement of a game determine the outcome? The more goals scored in a game, the more exciting it is? Not necessarily. Football is a game of moments. In an instant, everything may change. A player with an unintentional or even intentional mistake can change the fate of his team even if his team ends up as a winner. If you ask a football fan what makes a game or a player stay in your mind, it definitely refers to tense and even controversial moments.
The most controversial moments in history of soccer
In the following article, we briefly mention some of the most controversial moments in history of football.
Maradona's 'Hand of God' (1986)
Let's start our article of the most controversial moments in football history, with one of the most controversial football players of all time. This phrase " Hand of God" was first used by Diego Armando Maradona to describe a goal that he scored in Argentina vs England during the 1986 FIFA World Cup at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
It was on 22 June 1986, at the end of the first half, the game ended in a 0-0 draw. Having passed only six minutes of the second half, Maradona beat the ball out of the box with his left foot and passed it to teammate Jorge Valdano. Valdano managed to dribble some English defenders, but eventually, the ball was backed to the English goal by English defender Steve Hodge .Maradona stood up alone inside the penalty area, throwing the ball to Peter Shelton's goal, who was 20 cm away from Maradona. Shelton jumped forward with his right hand, while Maradona did so with his left.
Maradona's fist, which was close to his head, first touched the ball and hit the ball towards the English goal. Maradona began to celebrate as he looked to the sidelines referee and the linesman to confirm. As the referees did not have a clear view of the game and the video's assistant referee did not yet exist, the game ended in a 2-1 victory for the Argentines, thanks to Maradona's second goal, known as the "Goal of the Century". After the match, Diego Maradona stated that the goal was scored "a little with the head and a little with the hand of God". 19 years after scoring the controversial goal, Maradona confessed on a program La Noche del 10 that the goal was scored with his hand.
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Maradona's failed drug test (1994)
Speaking of something controversial, the name of Marado would pop up in our minds. The second most controversial moments in football history is again related to Diego Armando Maradona. Even though Maradona is indeed a great football player- a fact that is not at all disputable- He had made some serious problems during his professional time, notably using drugs.
Six hours before Argentina played Bulgaria at the Cotton Bowl, which ended 2-0, at a news conference it was publicly announced that he suddenly removed from World Cup play because he had tested positive for five variants of ephedrine- a stimulant banned by soccer's international governing body. The 33-year-old Maradona with that match could have gained the record 22d World Cup appearance but he lost it. But, it was not his first time. In 1991-92, as his penalty for cocaine use, he got suspended for 15 months.
This dubious decision was directly made by the Argentine soccer federation, which spared itself from any further sanctions with the action, an independent decision which is now considered as one of the most controversial moments in football history.
Zidane's headbutt (2006)
What would come to your mind, if you think about the final match of World cup 2006? Exactly, the unbelievable reaction of Zidane is one of the most controversial moments in football history. The match took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany, to settle the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Following the 1–1 draw, the match must be continued two extra times. But in the 110th minute, Marco Materazzi did some shit-talking which made Zidane angry. He got that angry to show a crazy unbelievable reaction. It was his last match with the France national team and that was a fatal mistake. No one in the world expected such an instant reaction from Zaidane. Italy won the 2006 world cup and now after 14 years, we still speak of that incident as one of the most controversial moments in history of soccer.
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Escobar's fateful own goal (1994)
The third most controversial moments in football history is a tragic one. During the 1994 FIFA World Cup, in a match between Colombia and the USA, Pablo Escobar was trying to block a cross from American midfielder John Harkes, but unfortunately, he accidentally deflected the ball into his own net. The United States took a 1–0 lead and ended up winning 2–1. So far so good. But It was not a normal own goal. After the world cup tournament, Escobar decided to return to Colombia instead of visiting relatives in Las Vegas, Nevada. He set a meeting with his friends. They arrived at the El Indio nightclub. it was almost 3:00 Am that everyone returned to thier houses. Escobar- alone- was in his car in the parking of El Indio as three men appeared.
They started arguing with him. Two of the men took out handguns and fired at him. Escobar was shot six times with a .38 caliber pistol. It was said that the killer shouted "¡Gol!" ("Goal!") After every shot, once for each time the South American football commentator said it during the match. The group then ran away in a Toyota pick-up truck and left Escobar to bleed to death. Escobar was taken to the hospital where he died 45 minutes later. On 2 July 1994, his murder confessed and was sentenced to 43 years in prison. Escobar's unconscious mistake was indeed the most fatal controversial moments in football history.
Lampard's ghost goal (2010)
The next most controversial moments in football history is related to the current coach of Chelsea. But what is a ghost goal? According to the official definition of association football " a ghost goal (or phantom goal) is either a goal wrongly awarded despite the ball not having crossed the goal line or a goal wrongly not given despite the ball having crossed the line". To avoid such fatal errors, the rules of goal-line technology were established by the International Football Association Board in 2012.
On 27 June 2010, England were playing Germany in the knockout round of the 2010 World Cup in Bloemfontein. In the 38th minutes of the match, 53 seconds after Matthew Upson's goal for England, Frank Lampard shot the ball. The ball hit the underside of the crossbar but returned back into the field of play due to backspin, to everyone's surprise, the ball didn't hit the net, but neither the referee nor his side assistant was in the proper position to award the goal. If the referee would have awarded the goal, England would have drawn level at 2–2. Germany. This ghost goal was given names like "Wembley goal reloaded", "inverted Wembley goal" or "revenge for Wembley". So it is definitely one of the controversial moments in soccer history.
Suarez's forbidden feats (2010, 2014)
What does the name of Suarez remind you of? Of course, apart from his good technique as a world-class player, you will also remember his rough moves. This technical player is famous for his mischievous acts. One of his unfair acts that is considered as one of the most controversial moments in football history, backs to the 2014 World Cup. Suarez bit the shoulder of Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini and quickly received a four-month ban. But it was not his first time, for three times Suarez had been punished for committing such an out-of-control reaction on an opponent. He would know that if he continues his dangerous act, he would be banned forever. Maybe in the near future, he does something new which makes him the number one on the list of the most controversial moments in football history.
Terry-Bridge fiasco (2011)
It is a bit awkward to see the name of john terry accompanied by the word Fiasco. The British football media eagerly looks forward to such controversial news. It was in 2010 that the name of John Terry spread in the news and was considered as one of the most controversial moments in football history.
Wayne Michael Bridge is an English retired footballer who had a relationship with French model Vanessa Perroncel from 2005 to 2009. They had a son together, Jaydon Jean Claude Bridge. As Wayne ended his relationship with Vanessa, john terry who was also married, had an affair with this french model. When Wayne found out, he started a controversy and as a result, the news reached the media. In January 2010, a High Court judge imposed a super injunction to prevent the media from reporting this affair. It is a bit bizarre but yet john terry is a part of one of the most controversial moments in football history.
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Henry's handball vs. Ireland (2009)
On 18 November 2009, in extra time, 17 minutes before the match's end French captain Thierry Henry set a goal by his hand and sent France to the 2010 World Cup. His cheat was a real slap in the face of every Irish person who was watching the game with shock and hatred. After the match Thierry Henry confessed to the Irish defender Richard Dunne that he had illegally handled the ball.The Football Association of Ireland and the Government of Ireland complained to FIFA, they wanted the game to be replayed. Thierry Henry cheat was compared to Maradona's Hand of God. These two events, as most controversial moments in football history, resulted in the establishment of VAR, a technology to prevent such errors.
The Battle of Nuremberg
The Battle of Nuremberg, also known as the Massacre of Nuremberg, is the name given to the match between Portugal and the Netherlands in the Round of 16 of the 2006 World Cup, that game is known to be one of the most controversial moments in football history. The match took place on June 25, 2006. But what is the controversy behind this match?
Valentin Ivanov- the referee- issued four red cards and 16 yellow cards to the players of Portugal and the Netherlands. A total of 12 players from both teams (7 players from Portugal - 5 players from the Netherlands) received cards in this match. In that match, 9 yellow cards were given to the Portuguese players and 7 yellow cards to the Dutch players. 4 players of both teams (2 players from Portugal - 2 players from the Netherlands) were sent off after receiving the second yellow card.
Following the match, then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter suggested to referee Valentin Ivanov that he should be given a yellow card due to his poor judgment and performance during the match. He then apologized for his statement. That match, at the same time was one of the most controversial moments in football history and one of the most exciting football match ever.
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South Korea's Corruption (2002)
We all remember the 2002 world cup as one of the most critical football tournaments ever which includes one of the most controversial moments in soccer history. The tournament was criticized for many poor and questionable refereeing decisions.
The wicked referee of the match between South Korea and Italy with his surprisingly wrong decisions made that game one of the most controversial moments in football history. At first, Byron Moreno- the referee- rejected the Italian goal and sent off Francesco Totti to guarantee South Korea's safe exit to the quarterfinals. Again the Egyptian referee of the match between South Korea and Spain made some unbelievable mistakes to send South Korea to the next round to play in front of Germany.
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Rudy Fuller and Frank Rijkaard funny Story
The funny struggle between these two football legends is one of the most controversial moments in history of football. At the 1990 World Cup, Germany and the Netherlands met in the round of 16. "My only love in this cup is to return the Netherlands home," German striker Rudi Fuller said earlier in the game. At the 1988 European Championships, the Netherlands defeated Germany in the semi-finals and eventually won the title.
Some believe that Fuller's desire for the Netherlands to be eliminated from the 1990 World Cup stemmed from the Germans' bitter defeat at home to the Netherlands. During the games between Germany and the Netherlands, Rijkaard was always in charge of Fuller, and this created a confrontation and an unpleasant feeling between the two players. Fuller and Rijkaard's fight was coming to an end with the intervention of the players of both teams and receiving a yellow card from both teams when Rikard suddenly threw his saliva on Fuller away from the eyes of the referee.
This reopened the dispute between the two players, and this time the referee sent both of them off the field. On the way out of the ground, Ricard threw his saliva again on Fuller's hair and came out of the ground. Some media outlets wrote that Fuller had received some racist insults, but Rijkaard misread the news. A few months after the incident, Rijkaard apologized to Fuller for his actions.
Although Frank Rijkaard played a key role in eliminating the Netherlands from the 1990 World Cup with his disgusting move that led to his dismissal, he made up for his wrongdoing by denying the racist allegations against Fuller and then apologizing to the German gentleman striker. it is not unreasonable to say that the saliva that Rijkaard threw at Fuller was instrumental in the German championship and the history of the World Cup.
Disgrace of Gijón
On 25 June 1982, a match was played between West Germany and Austria at the El Molinón Stadium in Gijón, which was named Disgrace of Gijon, a match which is still considered as one of most controversial moments in history of football. Algeria and Chile had played the day before and so the match between West Germany and Austria was the last game of the first-round Group 2. Both teams went into the match considering the fact that a win for the Germans by one or two goals would be enough to see both teams through at the North African's expense.
West Germany took the lead after 10 minutes and the remaining 80 minutes was a true disappointment. Both teams were accused of match-fixing, however, FIFA rejected the claim and said that neither team broke any rules. This match was widely disliked by all observers. Some of the German sports commentators refused to comment on the game any longer. El Comercio, the local newspaper, printed the match report in its crime section, using the headline "Forty thousand people presumably scammed by twenty-six Austrians and Germans.
Every football match is full of exciting and memorable scenes. Exciting moments that will forever be carved into the minds of all football fans of all ages. In this article, we recall some of the most controversial moments in football history. What moments do you think we should add to the above list? Share your ideas with.