Friday, June 27, 2008

Former FIFA president says World Cups were fixed

Joao Havelange, president of FIFA from 1974-1998 claims the 1966 and 1974 World Cups were fixed and produced the exact results his predecessor to the job, England's Sir Stanley Rous, wanted.

Havelange, who is Brazilian, claims that during both finals, the referees made decisions that allowed European nations to advance and help the host country win the cup (1966 England, 1974 West Germany).

In the 1966 semifinal between England and Argentina, a ref gave Argentina's captain Antonio Rattin a direct red for arguing. England won the match 1-0. In 1974 he points to missed calls that resulted in Pele getting injured and Brazil losing their chance to play Germany in the final.

There are been theories for years that some sort of fixing happened but there has never been an official as high ranking as Havelange to back them. So is this true or is this just the talk of a proud South American?

As far as I can see, he doesn't offer any sort of proof other then the 'isn't it strange this happened' kind. The fact that calls seemed to go to the home country more often then not is no surprise. The additional fact that it was European refs that made a number of the calls against South American nations just adds fuel to the speculation, but without any proof, there really is nothing to this story.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the point you made in the last paragraph, especially when Havelange's memory seems to be playing tricks on him - it was 1966 when Pele was kicked out of the tournament (he didn't play in 74). If the West German victory was fixed, it was very cleverly done - losing to East Germany in the group stages and letting the Dutch score first in the final wouldn't have aroused anyone's suspicions.

5:34 PM  
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