We all love a conspiracy and the World Cup has had more than its fair share over the years, some of which have been mentioned during this series. However did you know about the match fixing, the drugs used with FIFA’s blessing or the political influences brought to bear. All these tales are true, well true conspiracies. Prepare to be amazed as we look at the side of the World Cup FIFA would rather you didn’t, as we open the ‘FIFA Files.’ Remember the truth is out there.
When Maradona failed a drug test in 1994 (2) he claimed that FIFA had agreed he could use the drug to help with weight loss. He said that FIFA told him they needed his presence to ensure the tournament was a success and wanted him at his best. He also claimed that once he wasn’t needed any more they framed him.
Its been suggested that when Ronaldo suffered convulsions before the 1998 final (3) it was strange as there was no record of him having fits before, or indeed since. Was he drugged in order so he couldn’t play? The Brazilian display was so poor that it was suggested that Brazil threw the game and in return they would win the rights to hold the 2014 competition. In which they were the only bid.
1990 and Argentina drugged the water bottles used by the Brazilian players during the game. So the theory is at least. Some of the Brazilian players did claim they felt drowsy as the game wore on.
Or maybe you prefer a straight forward match fixing? Did the 1974 West German side throw the game against the East Germans? A much weaker team beat the West 1-0 that day. This meant that the West German side then played a weaker team in the knock out stages.
If you like German dirty tricks. In 1954 (4) The German side named a much changed and weaker team in the game V Hungary. Hungary won 8-3. The star player Puskas received so many fouls that day he missed every game for the rest of the tournament only returning for the Final against German. Which the Germans won.
We have mentioned the role the dictator Mussolini played in 1934 and 38 (5,6). What was not mentioned before however was he personally chose the referees. As Italy won the trophy both Czechoslovakia, Austria and the weaker Egyptian side all had strong claims they lost due to referring decisions.
South Korea in 2002 were involved in a number of referring controversies, all going in their favour. In the Second Round they beat the Italians. They had Totti sent off and then a seemingly good goal disallowed. The Italian press claim that after the competition the referee was seen holidaying in Miami on what they said was a paid vacation. In the next match Korea beat Spain. The Spanish having two seemingly good goals disallowed. The second, which would have been a Golden Goal was not given when the ref ruled it had gone out of play in the build up, although the video clearly shows it hadn’t. Was it just a referring error. Such was the feelings over Koreas’ “luck” that Sepp Blatter actually issued a statement during the finals saying “Any allegations of a conspiracy in favour of Korea Republic are dismissed in their entirety." Issuing a statement just confirmed to some people what had been goin on.
During the 1930 World Cup several Argentinean players received threatening letters.
We mentioned before the Argentine / Peru game in 1970 (7). The Argentinean side knew they needed to win 4-0. They won 6-0 against a lackluster Peruvian team. The theories point to suggestions that the Argentine military dictatorship interfered to ensure Argentina would go through. It did not help that the Peruvian goalkeeper had been born in Argentina. There were stories that the Argentina government unfroze some Peruvian bank accounts soon after the game, and shipments of much needed grain arrived in Lima harbour. The left wing politicians in Peru have stated this resulted in 13 Peruvian dissidents exiled in Argentina being sent back to Peru.
Then in 2012 former Peruvian Senator Genaro Ledesma confirmed this to a Buenos Aires judge. His statement claimed it was too do with the dissidents who were then tortured. The Independent newspaper in the UK wrote in 1995 (1) that when the team talk was given to the Peruvian side before the game the goalkeeper and substitutes were barred from the room.
Going back to that Brazilian story and the 1998 final. Its been noted that the draw for the 2014 competition has been very good to the host nation, at least so some people seem to think. The suggestion was not helped when a Spanish newspaper correctly predicted one group, Group A the day before the draw.
Of course FIFA would never be party to that sort of thing. They have been far too busy holding corruption investigations and then (totally unrelated) awarding the 2022 competition to Qatar.
As I say you make your own mind up - The truth is out there.
Notes -1 - The Independent piece from 1995, including mentions of Tottenham you might like to check.
Note 2- Flying Down to Rio, Flight 21, 3 - Flight 25, 4 - Flight 12, 5 - Flight 8, 6 - Flight 24, 7 - Flight 10,
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Flying Down to Rio
History of T.H.F.C.
Tribute to Bill Nicholson
The Road to Turin
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The 100 Year War
Interview with Marina Sirtis
A Long Dark Shadow
By Royal Appointment
School Report: An Insight into the Younger Eric Dier
All Change At Spurs
History Of THFC: Part 1
Passage to India: Rohan Rickets
Thanks For The Memories
Our Tommy Carroll
The AVB Files: Part1
You The Jury
The Hand Of Hugo
Connection - Argentina
Creating a Reputation
Flying Down To Rio