From bloody skirmishes to gnashing of teeth… these 5 big controversies of FIFA World Cup that tainted the greatness of veterans

New Delhi: The excitement of the FIFA World Cup 2022 being played in Qatar has reached its peak. The tournament is progressing at its own pace. Many teams started their campaign with a win in the World Cup, while some had to suffer vicissitudes, but with this the era of controversies has also started. One such case has come from the match played between Portugal and Ghana. Former England coach Wayne Rooney also raised questions on the penalty awarded to Portugal in this match. Although this controversy has now become an off-field issue, let’s take a look at five big FIFA World Cup controversies that tarnished the greatness of players like Zinedine Zidane and Diego Maradona.

1938: Salute to Fascism

Football and controversy have gone hand in hand. The oldest dispute in this list is of the year 1938. The match was played between Italy and France in the tournament played from 4 June to 19 June 1938, hosted by France, just two years before the Second World War. In this match, at the behest of dictator Benito Mussolini, the Italian team wore black shirts instead of white. Not only this, before the start of the match, the whole team created a stir by giving fascist salute. This match was won by Italy 3-1 and then Chuckler became the champion, but his salute is more talked about than becoming the champion.

1962: Kicking and punching in both the teams

The second most discussed controversy on the football field dates back to the 1962 World Cup. In this World Cup, a match has been played between hosts Chile and Italy on 2 June. This match is also known as the ‘Battle of Santiago’, because during the match there was fierce fighting between the players of both the teams. Two players were sent off during the match by referee Ken Aston, which led to the yellow and red cards.

1986 Diego Maradona’s Hand of God

How can one forget the Hand of God controversy in the 1986 FIFA World Cup. This controversy related to Diego Maradona of Argentina is still in the mind of football lovers. The controversy took place on June 22, 1986 during the match between England and Argentina. In this match, Diego Maradona of Argentina won his team by scoring two goals. His first goal was scored with a hand, which the referee could not see. In the 51st minute of the match, Maradona converted a pass from a fellow player into a goal. The English players appealed for the foul, but the referee did not accept it and the goal was scored in Argentina’s account. Maradona later said that this was not done intentionally and called it the Hand of God, while the English media, enraged by the defeat, called it the Hand of the Devil.

2006: Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt

The only stain on the career of great footballer Zinedine Zidane, which he cannot wash off even if he wants to. On July 9, 2006 the match was played between Italy and France. In the final against Italy, Zidane gave the team an early lead. Marco Materazzi scored the equalizer for Italy in the 19th minute. The match looked headed for a penalty shootout. There were only a few moments left in extra time. Meanwhile, Materaji said something that enraged Zidane and hit him on the head.

The collision was so strong that Italy’s Marco Materazzi fell to the ground. After this, the referee showed Zidane a red card and threw him out of the field. The French team lost the match 3-5. It was also the last match of Zidane’s international career.

2014: Luis Suarez bites through

Biting teeth is also included in the list of controversies. Uruguay’s star striker Luis Suarez did the job. On June 24, 2014, a group match was being played between Italy and Uruguay in the Brazil World Cup. In the 79th minute of the match, Luis Suarez got into an altercation with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. On seeing this, the matter increased so much that in anger, Suarez bit the opponent’s shoulder.

Despite Chiellini’s appearances, referee Marco Rodríguez did not pay attention and only awarded Italy a free kick. Italy were eliminated from the tournament after losing the match 1–0. Later action was taken on Suarez. He was suspended from football related activities for four months. Apart from this, along with a heavy fine, he was also banned for 9 international matches.

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