5 wackiest moments in World Cup history

Diana Ross couldn't hit the net at the Opening Ceremonies at the World Cup in 1994, but Zinedine...

Diana Ross couldn't hit the net at the Opening Ceremonies at the World Cup in 1994, but Zinedine Zidane hit his target just fine. (REUTERS)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:20 PM ET

Sao Paulo—The World Cup has seen more than its share of weird goings-on in its history.

If they hadn’t been recorded in some fashion, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think they had been made up.

Here are some of the wackiest, real incidents that have happened at a World Cup.

GOTTA BE SHEIKING ME

Spain- 1982

Kuwait was trailing France 3-1 when it conceded a late goal to Alain Giresse. The Kuwait team though believed they had heard a whistle and some of their players stopped playing.

When it looked as if Soviet referee Miroslav Stupar was going to allow the goal, Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the president of the Kuwait Football Association at the time, jumped onto the stadium pitch from the stands, marched onto the field of play, and began to argue with the referee.

He threatened to pull his team off the field unless the goal was annulled. The referee, shockingly, did not allow the goal. France did score a fourth later on anyway.

Referee Stupar wound up the big loser. He would have his international officials licence pulled because of the incident.

YOUR SISTER…

Germany- 2006

This has become one of the most well-known whacky incidents in soccer history. Late in the 2006 final between Italy and France, Italian defender Marco Materazzi got into legendary player Zinedine Zidane’s head.

As they were walking away, Zidane suddenly turned and gave Matterazzi a mountain goat-like slam to Materazzi’s chest using his head. Matterazzi went down like a wounded fawn. Zidane was given a red card and Italy went on to win the match on kicks from the penalty spot. What caused Zidane to lose his mind?

Apparently Materazzi said something about his sister. The incident was memorialized in a statue and inspired a song entitled “Coup de Boule” (“Headbutt”), which topped the French and Belgian charts.

PANTLESS PEPPINO

Italy- 1934

Giuseppe “Pepping” Mezzo was one of the best Italian soccer players ever. He also enjoyed many of the good things off the field and was good at that as well. Historians have written that Mezzo routinely slept in brothels on nights before matches. On practice days, he would usually arrive on the field well after the rest of this teammates looking like, well looking like he’d slept in a brothel.

In the 1938 World Cup against Brazil, Mezzo was preparing to take a penalty kick. As he approached the ball, his shorts fell down. He stopped, pulled them up with one hand and scored against the Brazilian keeper who was still laughing at Mezzo.

FEAR MADE ME DO IT

West Germany- 1974

Zaire became the first African nation to qualify for the World Cup. They would draw World Cup holder Brazil in their qualifying group. The players received a message before the game from their country’s leader Mobutu Sese Seiko, delivered by his armed guards. The message was straight forward. If you lose by four goals or more there would be consequences.

The Brazilians were leading by 3-0 late in the game when they were awarded a free kick 25-yards from goal. Brazilian Jairzinho prepared to take the kick when Zairian defender Mwepu Ilunga burst from the defensive wall and kicked the ball all the way to the other end of the pitch.

Everyone was stunned. The referee gave him a yellow card but the Brazilians didn’t score and Zaire hung on for a 3-0 loss avoiding whatever consequences their ruling strongman had in store for them.

OH SAY…

United States- 1994

Usually the Americans are pretty good at stuff like opening ceremonies but the 1994 ceremonies at Soldier Field in Chicago could not have gone any more wrong.

It started when a trap-door on the stage jammed and Latino singer Jon Secada stumbled and dislocated a shoulder. He performed with just his head and shoulders poking through a hole on the stage.

Oprah Winfrey then fell as she exited the stage after introducing singer Diana Ross. Ross’s voice was perfect as she sang but many considered it odd since the microphone was nowhere near her mouth.

After doing her song, Ross was supposed to kick the ball into the net from the penalty spot. She missed badly, but somehow the goalposts and net split down the middle despite her miss, because of the force of her shot.

There’s nothing quite like live television.


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