The beautiful game has its moments. From scintillating performances, to nail-biting finishes. The game however, has also been marred by controversies, good and bad through the ages. Controversies that have built and destroyed players and fans alike. We take a look at the Top 5 most controversial moments in Football.
5. Luis Figo Transfer from FC Barcelona to Real Madrid
In India: Politics & Entertainment
The summer of 2001 was a huge turmoil in the Spanish press. Barcelona star and Portuguese skipper Luis Figo, one of the best in the World in his position at that moment switched from FC Barcelona to arch-rivals Real Madrid.
The rumours were that he had a pre-contract signed with Florentino Perez that should he be elected as the Real President, Figo would complete the transfer. Figo became a traitor in the eyes of Barca fans and football fans in general, they even threw a pig’s head at him during an El Classico game.
4. Luis Suarez bites Georgio Chellini in a World Cup match
In a quarter-final encounter between Italy and Uruguay, Luis Suarez did the most unimaginable. He bit Italy defender Chellini on the shoulder, so hard that the latter bled on the pitch.
The matter was taken seriously by FIFA and UEFA, who banned him for 3 months and 6 months respectively from their tournaments. This, however wasn’t the first biting incident Suarez had been part of.
3. Patrice Evra Racism Row
A shameful event in the history of the game, Luis Suarez first hurled racist abuses at Manchester United fullback Patrice Evra at An field when United and Liverpool locked horns.
Later, in the reverse league game of the season, he refused to shake hands with the French. The game ended with a United victory, despite Suarez being on the score sheet and Evra’s provocative celebrations at the Street ford End with the Man U faithful are still fresh in the minds of fans.
2. Diego Maradona Hand of God Goal
England were at the receiving end of one of the most controversial moments in footballing history as Argentina great Diego Mara dona scored a goal against them in the 51st minute with his hand.
Maradona initially rubbished the claims, however later on he went on to say that it wasn’t his hand that scored the goal, it was the “hand of God”.
1. Zidane Headbutts Marco Materrazzi
One of the modern day greats of the game, Zinedine Zidane lost it in the 2006 World Cup Final as he headbutted Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the dying moments of the game.
Arguably, Zidane who had played in Italy for a long time, was said provocative stuff about his family and the French lost his cool. The headbutt resulted in a red card for the France skipper, eventually him missing the shootout which France lost.