Kicking it Weird: 40 Craziest Soccer Matches Ever Played

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26Heysel Stadium Tragedy: Liverpool vs. Juventus

Heysel Stadium Tragedy: Liverpool vs. Juventus

In 1985, during the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, 39 fans tragically lost their lives due to rioting by Liverpool fans and a subsequent stadium collapse. Despite the adversity, the football match resumed after a delay of 90 minutes.

27. Following Zaire's (now known as DR Congo) disappointing performance in the 1974 FIFA World Cup, players were prohibited from leaving their home country to prevent them from accepting offers to play for European clubs that came in after the tournament.

28. During the 1978 FIFA World Cup, the Peruvian team was threatened into playing poorly in a crucial match against Argentina by Peruvian President Francisco Morales-Bermúdez, Argentine President Jorge Rafael Videla, and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Argentina's 6-0 victory secured their advancement to the second round.

29. In the 1950 FIFA World Cup final, where Uruguay triumphed over Brazil with Alcides Ghiggia's winning goal just 11 minutes before the end of the match, some distraught fans were so devastated that they committed suicide in the stadium stands.

30. During the 1960s, Estudiantes de La Plata, an Argentinean football club, enlisted a fan named Quiricocho, perceived as a bearer of bad luck, to greet opposing teams before matches. When security measures prevented this, players would collectively yell "Quiricocho!" before their opponents' penalty attempts.

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31Paris Homophobia Match Boycott

Paris Homophobia Match Boycott

In 2009, Créteil Bébel, a French football team comprised entirely of practicing Muslims, declined to play against Paris Foot Gay, a club formed to combat homophobia, citing religious grounds. Consequently, Bébel faced permanent expulsion from the local football association.

32. Australia achieved a world record for the largest victory in an international football match, triumphing 31-0 against American Samoa in April 2001.

33. During a 2002 football match between Mali and Cameroon, riot police arrested the Cameroonian head coach and goalkeeping coach for allegedly placing a charm on the pitch. A spokesman asserted, "We are no more willing to see witch doctors on the pitch than cannibals at the concession stands."

34. Extreme cold forced all Blackburn players, with the exception of the goalkeeper, to leave the field after halftime in December 1891, leading to frequent offside calls against Burnley.

35. In 2005, North Korea experienced riots when thousands of enraged citizens protested after their national football team lost to Iran in a World Cup qualification match.

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36Estadio Nacional Tear Gas Tragedy

Estadio Nacional Tear Gas Tragedy

The Estadio Nacional disaster occurred during a soccer match between Peru and Argentina in 1964, when an unfavorable referee decision led Peruvian fans to swarm the pitch. Police tear gas caused panic, resulting in the deaths of 328 people attempting to exit the stadium.

37. Following major crowd disturbances in 2011, Turkish football authorities banned all males over 12 from attending the next match, resulting in a 41,000-strong carnival atmosphere of women and children.

38. The Luzhniki disaster occurred in 1982 at the Grand Sports Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium in Moscow during a UEFA Cup soccer match. A woman lost her shoe while exiting the stadium, triggering a chaotic stampede that precipitated the tragedy. The official death toll figures, released decades later, remain disputed, casting a somber shadow over the incident.

39. A tragic incident occurred on May 9, 2001, during a soccer match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana, resulting in the deaths of 127 individuals due to compressive asphyxia from a stampede. The chaos erupted following a contentious referee decision favoring Accra, exacerbated by police firing tear gas into the crowd and the stadium's inadequate design.

40. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, a notorious match known as the 'Battle of Nuremberg' unfolded between the Netherlands and Portugal. This bitter soccer duel saw a record-breaking tally of 4 red cards and 16 yellow cards issued by the referee, reflecting the intense rivalry and heated clashes between the two teams.

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