In violent sports like football, fouls, injuries, fights and controversies are natural consequences. Over the years, the FIFA World Cup has been the scene of numerous controversies. Let us look at five of the most popular controversies that rocked the FIFA World Cup.
Suárez Bites Chiellini: FIFA World Cup 2014
Uruguay striker Luis Suárez is known for his on-field teeth bites. The Barcelona player has a long history of teeth bites and ugly verbal brawls, many of which made huge controversies.
In 2014 World Cup, Suárez was banned from football-related activities for four months and was handed a nine-match international ban, following his infamous bite on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder. In a group stage match between Uruguay and Italy, Suárez had a fight with Chiellini, following which the notorious incident happened.
De Jong's Kung Fu Kick On Xabi Alonso: FIFA World Cup 2010
The FIFA World Cup 2010 Final between Spain and Netherlands witnessed a violent incident, in which Netherlands player Nigel de Jong attempted a chest-high Kung Fu Kick on Spainish midfielder Xabi Alonso. De Jong was lucky to escape punishment for the severe foul with a mere yellow card. The then star-studded Spanish team went on to llift the World Cup, thanks to Andres Iniesta's extra time goal.
Frank Lampard's Disallowed Goal: FIFA World Cup 2010
It has to be said that Frank Lampard's exquisite goal, which was disallowed by the referee, during a group stage match between Germany and England was one of the key reasons for the emergence of today's Goal-line technology in football. Lampard's shot hit the crossbar and bounced well inside the goal-line. The English were denied the goal by the referee, whose decision stunned the footballing world in 2010.
Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi: FIFA World Cup 2006
In the finals of FIFA 2006 World Cup, France's Zinedine Zidane had a verbal altercation with Italian defender Marco Materazzi, who allegedly abused the Frenchman, who was enraged and what followed will forever remain a topic of discussion. After Zidane head butted Materazzi powerfully, he was straight away given a red card and Zidane's final exit in France colours meant the two teams fighting out for the World Cup in penalties. Italy won the World Cup by 5-3 in penalties.
Diego Maradona and the Hand of God: FIFA World Cup 1986
Argentina legend Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' incident is one of the most controvercial moments in the history of football. During a match between Argentina and England, Maradona scored a goal using his hand. The legendary player flicked the ball with his hand to direct it into the goal. Although the English players appealed for a foul, the referee did not take any action and allowed the goal.