Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 9:17 AM on Wednesday 3 September

/ Front page / Sport

Fixed WC titles under scutiny

Afp
Saturday, April 27, 2013

ZURICH, Switzerland - Football's biggest prize has twice been won with the help of dictators fixing matches for the host team, according to a FIFA-hosted conference on World Cup history.

Argentina's triumph in 1978 and Italy's 1934 victory were influenced by military leaders seeking propaganda coups, delegates were told on Thursday at a symposium titled "The Relevance and Impact of FIFA World Cups."

Italian writer Marco Impiglia presented a paper suggesting Italy's fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, ensured favourable refereeing decisions which helped the host team win.

Raanan Rein, an Israeli professor of Latin American history, said he was "100 per rcent persuaded" that Argentina's military junta influenced a 6-0 win against Peru. The match is a notorious chapter of World Cup lore and ensured Argentina advanced to the final instead of great rival Brazil.

Both Italy and Argentina won a second World Cup — in 1938 and 1986, respectively — soon after their allegedly tainted first titles.

The four-day gathering of academics and historians is studying the political, social and ecocomic impact on nations which have hosted the biggest and most-watched sports event since the World Cup was first played in Uruguay in 1930.

FIFA's choice of Brazil, Russia and Qatar — three countries with growing economies and diplomatic influence — as the next hosts from 2014 to 2022 suggests football and politics will continue to mix.

Opening the conference on Wednesday, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke acknowledged that working with democratically elected governments can complicate organising tournaments.


Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Golan crisis
  2. One dead, two in hospital
  3. 45 HELD CAPTIVE
  4. Hundreds sign petition opposing park development
  5. Prayers of love and hope for blue helmets
  6. Cut in rent stamp duty
  7. Police ink training deal
  8. Screening important
  9. Candidate to moot for good health
  10. Wellness program

Top Stories this Week

  1. Commander confirms captured soldiers 'safe' Friday (29 Aug)
  2. Show of support Thursday (28 Aug)
  3. Going Golan Monday (01 Sep)
  4. Rebels take our soldiers Saturday (30 Aug)
  5. Tough but right Monday (01 Sep)
  6. Police assault claim Thursday (28 Aug)
  7. Military not taking sides Monday (01 Sep)
  8. Teen's ice bucket death Tuesday (02 Sep)
  9. 45 detained Tuesday (02 Sep)
  10. Nusra demands compensation, aid, for release of soldiers Tuesday (02 Sep)