has produced some of the greatest sporting moments we have ever seen; it has
also produced some of the most baffling in equal amounts.
can all remember the moments when our favourite team
scored in the dying moments to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. We have
also seen incredible players achieve incredible feats and wondered how on earth
they did that?
the same time we’ve witnessed a bucket load of moments where we have screamed
at the television until we are blue in the face, pleading for someone or
something to restore the world to its proper place as our team or idols lose
the run of themselves completely.
article is dedicated to those moments.
moments where nothing makes sense, where our stars, teams, officials and
governing body lose complete and utter control.
1982: Kuwaiti Sheikh Gets a Goal
Disallowed After Protests!
World Cup in 1982 could have produced an entire montage of baffling moments all
the funniest was most definitely France vs. Kuwait.
in 1982, were a superb
team. It is one of the great shames of football that this particular French
side never won a World Cup. They did manage to win the European Championships
in 1984, though.
back to Kuwait.
Kuwaitis were completely and thoroughly outplayed against France. Le Bleus were giving the Kuwaitis the
run-around and had had four goals disallowed for offside before going 4-1 up
through a “controversial” Alain Giresse strike.
Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the President of the Kuwait FA, who then tried to get
the match abandoned or France’s fourth goal disallowed on the grounds that his
team stopped because they had heard another whistle!
goal was eventually disallowed after the protests, much against the French
Incidentally, France did score again through Maxime
Bossis to win 4-1.
1982: Harald Schumacher Tries to
Decapitate Patrick Battiston!
World Cup in 1982 was one of the best of all time. It had great goals, great
teams and great players aplenty.
also had the most controversial tackle/assault of all time.
the semifinal between France and Germany, Harald Schumacher, the German goalie,
absolutely hammered Patrick Battiston with one of the most dangerous tackles
was so bad that if it had not been on the football pitch, he would have got six
months in jail for it!
was forced to leave the pitch unconscious and with damaged neck vertebrae.
Some French players even thought he was dead!
rub salt into French wounds, Schumacher was outstanding in the penalty
contest that saw Germany go through.
Contrary to some reports, Schumacher was not Battiston’s
best man at his wedding. But, he did apologise and
to this day they have remained friends.
1994: Diana Ross Gets to Take a
Penalty, and Misses!
1994 World Cup was going to be the moment that football fever took over in the
good ol’ United States.
a whole, and despite a generally poor tournament, the competition was well
received and still, to this day, holds the record for attendance.
could have all gone so wrong on the opening day, though.
in the FIFA and US Soccer braintrusts, decided that Diana Ross singing
would be the perfect way to open the month-long tournament.
even allowed Diana to take a penalty…
idea was for Ross to shoot with such power that the goal would break in half
and she would run on for the finale of her little ditty.
She missed the target completely!
1996: Estonia vs. Scotland: One
Team in Tallinn!
who has ever played junior football can testify about a match where the
opponents failed to show up.
to my mind, it has never happened at a professional level or an international
level before or since.
1996, Scotland travelled to Tallinn to play Estonia in a World Cup Qualifier
for France 98, only for the home team to fail to show up!
knew that Estonia would not show as they were protesting against FIFA moving
the match back to 15.00 from 18.45 as their floodlights did not meet the
the Scots, in order to meet FIFA regulations, were forced to take to the pitch
for the match. John Collins, the Scottish captain even had to go through the
pre-match tradition of
greeting the referee and his team!
Their fans seemed to enjoy themselves, though, and
even sang “There’s only one team in Tallinn!”
1996: Graeme Souness and
Southampton Sign Ali Dia!
1996, Graeme Souness and Southampton made one of the worst, baffling
and most ridiculed signings of all time when they snapped up Ali Dia.
the build-up to taking on the “Senegalese international” Southampton
received a phone call from someone pretending to be George Weah. In the call,
Weah highly recommended the player and said they would be getting a bargain.
looking into his past, at all, the Saints promptly signed the player and even
played him in the Premier League!
Needless to say, he was terrible!
2006: Zinedine Zidane Headbutts
the scene; Zinedine Zidane is his country’s greatest, most
experienced and important player. He has just dragged his country to the World
Cup 2006 final in Germany after his team had all but been written off.
has turned back the years and reminded everyone just how good he used to be
with a legendary performance across the tournament.
early penalty in the final gives his team the lead before Marco Materazzi equalizes.
Once level, Italy starts to strangle the game and with 10 minutes to go in
extra time, just as his team needs him most, he explodes.
headbutt on Materazzi has become the defining image of the 2006 World
Cup, and perhaps his career.
is also one of the most bizarre moments in football history.
Why ZZ could not keep his head will go down as one of the
greatest unanswered football questions of all time.
2008: The Drunk Referee!
well used to questioning whether the referee needs glasses and their parentage,
but have you ever wondered if the referee was drunk?
2008, Sergei Shmolik refereed a Belarusian Premier League match
between Vitebsk and Naftan.
the best referee in Belarus in 2007, Shmolik refereed the entire game from the centre circle before he was escorted
from the pitch!
to say, a medical test after the match found high levels of alcohol in his
system and he was eventually suspended by the Belarusian FA.
he even got to the pitch is anyone’s guess, and then how he lasted 90
minutes in the centre circle
will go down as one of the most baffling referee performances of all time.
The frightening thing is that Shmolik might even
have had the best game of his career, and never knew a thing about it!
2008: Watford vs. Reading: The
all seen referee decisions that just can’t be explained in any way shape or
meet the daddy of them all!
In 2008, Reading and Watford were locked in a promotion battle to
the Premiership when referee Stuart Atwell made one of the most baffling
2009: FIFA Offer the FAI a Fair
Play Award After Thierry Henry Handball!
November 2009, Ireland were knocked out of the World Cup at the playoff stage by France. The
win came courtesy of a William Gallas goal deep into injury time. However,
during the buildup, Thierry Henrycontrolled the ball with his hand before
passing to Gallas to score.
result caused outrage across the world with Ireland’s governing body even going
as far as to ask FIFA for a replay.
greatest player in Arsenal’s history and one of the best players to ever
grace the English Premier League, also came in for huge flak for his
graceless behaviour during
and after the match.
the turmoil of the FAI looking for a replay and every single news source on the
planet covering the story, FIFA in an amazingly baffling move decided to offer
the FAI a Fair Play award to placate their protests.
Needless to say the FAI turned them down before
brandishing Sepp Blatter an “embarrassment.”
2010: Fahad Khalfan and the Worst
Miss of All Time!
Asian Games in 2010 saw Qatar U-23’s and Uzbekistan’s U-23’s meet in the Round
the game deadlocked at 0-0 after 90 minutes, it moved into extra time.
seconds into extra time and we were gifted with one of the best and most
baffling blooper misses of
all time when Fahad Khalfan of Qatar missed an open goal.
Eight minutes later and the Uzbeks took the lead to win
the game 1-0!