In one of the most hotly contest FIFA World Cup matches ever to be played, Italy lost to Chile 2-0 but it was the cheap fouls and retaliations by players that made this match so shocking and it all happened on this day in soccer history in 1962.
There was ill will between the two sides before the Group 2 match even kicked off. Two journalists, Corrando Pizzinelli and Antonio Ghirelli, who were in Chile to report on the FIFA World Cup made no friends as they wrote about loose women, alcoholism and illiteracy, then by making it that much worse by calling the country ‘backward.’
David Coleman, who was hosted the review show, said prior to the coverage:
“Good evening. The game you are about to see is the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game. The national motto of Chile reads ‘By reason or by force.’ Today the Chileans were prepared to be reasonable, the Italians only used force…. the result was a disaster for the World Cup.”
The action got started only seconds into the match with the first foul by Italy. Giorgio Ferrini was later sent off the pitch after only eight minutes and had to be escorted by the police after he refused to leave.
After being taken down in the corner on a soft foul by today’s standards, Chile’s Lionel Sanchez, quickly popped up and punched Italy’s Argentine-born midfielder Dionisio Maschio which the commentator called ‘one of the neatest left hooks I’ve ever seen!’
Sanchez was surprisingly not sent off but payback for the punch came quickly when Italian Mario David came in with a neck high studs up challenge on Sanchez’ neck and head (which would no doubt even impress David Ginola and his karate kick antics). David was immediately shown off the pitch as well.
With a two man advantage, Chile had the better of play and ended up winning 2-0.
The referee, Ken Aston, said after the game: “I wasn’t reffing a football match, I was acting as an umpire in military manoeuvres.” The Englishman was cleared of any wrongdoing after the Italian press complained of corruption and conspiracy but he did not call any more matches in the 1962 FIFA World Cup due to a strained Achilles.
He continued to be involved with refereeing and was in charge of all referees for the 1966, 1970, and 1974 World Cups, and he was the person responsible for introducing yellow and red cards to the referees pocket to help clarify when players were cautioned or ejected from a match.
1957 – Mark Lawrenson, English Football Pundit
1980 – Abby Wambach, American Soccer player
1988 – Sergio Agüero, Argentinian footballer
1989 – Freddy Adu – U.S. National team soccer player