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7 MOST CONTROVERSIAL MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF WORLD CUP!

With the biggest prize in football at stake at the World Cup, we are set for another intriguing summer of action.
The World Cup always provides fans with plenty of elation and heartbreak but most of all drama. And there will for sure be controversy yet again in Russia with players using everything in their armoury to land the dream prize.
From Maradona’s hand of God to Zidane’s head butt, the beautiful game has its own share of controversy. Here's 7 reasons why the  beautiful game is not always so pretty. 

The 7 most controversial moments in the history of World Cup: 

1. Maradona's 'Hand of God' (Mexico 1986) 

Maradona stretching his hands to reach the pinnacle of controversy
The 1986 quarter-final between England and Argentina is still one of the most controversial moments in football history, let alone the World Cup.
The second half of the match in Mexico City saw one of the most infamous incidents ever followed by one of the most famous goals of all time.
 Maradona leapt high and punched an aerial ball past England keeper Peter Shilton to open the scoring for Argentina. What’s more incredulous is that Maradona followed that up by scoring a brilliant solo goal which many consider as the ‘Goal of the Century’. Maradona himself gave his first goal its infamous name by commenting after the game that the ball had gone in, “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God". 

2. Suarez's Super Save (South Africa 2010)

Suarez's stretched hands ruin Africa's World Cup hopes in 2010
There is no doubt that Suarez was the most hated footballer in Ghana in 2010 after he played a pivotal role in ending their World Cup dream.
The 2010 World Cup ended in a failure for hosts South Africa, and the hopes of an entire continent were pinned on Ghana as the tournament reached the quarterfinal stages.
Ghana played Uruguay in a highly competitive match, but it was marred when Dominic Adiyiah’s header was stopped, not by the goalkeeper, but by Luis Suarez. Suarez put his hand and stopped the ball from going into the goal, leading the referee to send him off.
Asamoah Gyan failed to convert, and Luis Suarez celebrated on the touchline before walking off to the dressing room. Ghana eventually lost on penalties, and Luis Suarez, quite deservedly, became the villain for a whole continent.
"The Hand of God now belongs to me. Mine is the real Hand of God."
—After the quarter-final against Ghana, Su├írez referred to Diego Maradona's infamous goal against England in 1986


3. Rivaldo’s playacting skills  (South Korea and Japan 2002)


Rivaldo holding his face whereas the ball had hit his knee
During a group game against Turkey, Brazilian playmaker Rivaldo decided to put his acting skills to the test. Turkish player Hakan Unsal passed the ball back to Rivaldo who was preparing to take a corner. The ball hit Rivaldo on his knee but the Brazilian went down holding his face and writhing in pain. The referee who missed the earlier part of the action sent off Unsal with a straight red card. Brazil went on to win the game with Rivaldo even scoring from the penalty spot. After the match Rivaldo was fined for feigning injury, however no match ban was issued for the Brazilian. 

4. Maradona's failed Drug Test (USA 1994)


Maradona was called off the pitch testing positive for ephedrine
This one features Maradona again. Argentina travelled to United States as a strong contender for the World Cup in 1994. Maradona had a great start to the world cup, scoring against Greece. However, after the second match, FIFA found Diego Maradona positive of taking a banned substance, and ultimately suspended him for the rest of the world cup.

The incident sent shock waves across the footballing world, as Maradona was a revered figure and an inspiration to many. He was banned for 15 months, and ultimately retired in 1997 at the age of 36.


5.  Geoff Hurst's 'Goal' (England 1966)

Hurst's controversial goal at Wembley
Few moments in sporting history have provoked such fierce debate as Geoff Hurst's second goal against West Germany in the 1966 final at Wembley.

With the game on a knife-edge at 2-2 in extra-time, the deadlock had again been broken in the 101st minute in the most dramatic fashion possible.

Hurst, having received a cross from Alan Ball in the penalty area, swivelled quickly before unleashing a fierce shot that bounced straight down after striking the underside of the crossbar.

Referee Gottfried Dienst was uncertain whether the ball had crossed the goalline and decided to consult linesman Tofiq Bahramov. England fans inside the stadium held their breath... and after a brief moment of conversation, the goal was awarded.

England held their nerve and ended up winning the game 4-2 thanks to a hat-trick goal from Hurst in the dying moments, meaning the Three Lions clinched their first and so far only World Cup on home turf.
 

6. The Suarez Bite (Brazil 2014)

Suarez's fangs strikes for the 3rd time
Luis Suarez remained the centre of controversies in the 2014 world cup as well. During the group match against Italy, Luis Suarez bit centre-back Giorgio Chiellini on his shoulder as the Italian made an attempt to dispossess the forward. However, Suarez was not red-carded for the offence. 
What’s even more stunning about this incident is that it wasn’t the first time that Suarez had bitten an opponent with Otman Bakkal and Branislav Ivanovic having already faced the ire of the Uruguayan’s teeth. 
However following an investigation, FIFA banned the player from nine international matches and four months of any football related activity.  

7.  Zidane's Headbutt (Germany 2006)

Zidane headbutts Materazzi: his final moment of his WC career
It should have been the perfect ending to Zidane's international career but it in fact finished in ignomous fashion for the Frenchman.
During the 2006 World Cup final between France and Italy, out of nowhere Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi with the scoreline at 1-1.
The midfielder was rightly shown a straight red after the fourth official alerted referee Horacio Elizondo.
It was later confirmed by Materazzi that he had insulted Zidane's sister (rather than his mother, which was initially claimed) before the headbutt occurred.
After Zidane famously trudged past the World Cup down the tunnel as he contemplated his actions, France were beaten on penalties as the Azzurri clinched the greatest prize of all.
All the talk should have been about Italy's triumph but unfortunately Zidane stole the headlines as he bowed out of international duty in disgrace. 

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With 3 more World Cups, we will have covered a span of 100 years since the first World Cup in 1930. So you can guess, there must be plenty of other controversial moments beside these 7. 
Few notable others are: 
Patrick Battinson Knocked Out (Spain 1982)
Andreas Escobar's Own Goal (USA 1994)
Rijkaard spits on Voellar (Italy 1990)
Ronaldo instigates Rooney (Germany 2006) 
Battle of Nuremberg: RO16 between Netherlands and Portugal (Germany 2006) 

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