The Most Shocking Soccer Scandals In Recent Memory
The beautiful game has seen its fair share of scandals. These include, but are not limited to; incidents of cheating, bullying, corruption, racism, individual criminal acts from prominent players.
Yes, a plethora of stupid decisions have tarnished the image of soccer like never before. It's no surprise then that the seemingly omnipotent and long-standing FIFA chief, Sep Blatter, finally stood down.
With that in mind, and leaving the scandal on the pitch, here are 3 shocking events that rocked world football.
The Luis Suarez – Giorgio Chiellini incident
Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra
It was the deciding group stage match in Group D between heavyweights Italy and Uruguay in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the 79th minute, while contesting a corner kick with the game tied at 0-0, the red mist descended on Uruguay star Luis Suarez. He bit Italian Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder as the defender attempted to attack the ball. Remarkably, this was the Uruguay striker's third such incident. But the referee failed to notice what should have been a simple red card and a lengthy suspension for Suarez, and Uruguay went on to win the match 1-0. However, Suarez would soon meet his comeuppance and was given a worldwide football ban from all football-related activities totalling four months, plus nine international matches, as well as a fine of 66,000 GBP.
Suarez later apologised and Chiellini accepted it, saying that incidents happening on the pitch should stay on the pitch. Fans were eagerly anticipating this year's Champions League final where the two were supposed to clash again, only for Chiellini to be ruled out with an injury two days before the match.
The Thierry Henry Handball
Theirry Henry handles the ball
It was the second leg of a crucial World Cup Qualifier between France and the Republic of Ireland. France had won the 1-0 but Robbie Keane had scored to take the tie into extra time. In the 103rd minute, FlorentMalouda lofted a free kick towards captain and star striker Thierry Henry. Henry handled the ball twice in the box, once to stop it from going out of play and next to bring it under control. He then crossed the ball (with his foot this time) to William Gallas, who headed it in to put France in the lead. The goal was allowed to stand and France went into the World Cup, only to drop out in the Group stage. Henry later admitted to handling the ball and apologised, even offering Ireland the chance of a rematch. Understandably, Ireland were outraged, as this act of cheating directly threw them out of the World Cup. This incident was debated the world over and tarnished the legendary status of Thierry Henry.
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