15 Worst Moments in World Cup History

By Tyler Fenwick

15 Worst Moments in World Cup History

Roberto Baggio
Getty Images

The World Cup has seen some nasty and embarrassing moments in its days of competition. From the terribly failed flops to games of literal neutrality, I'm running through the 15 worst moments in World Cup history.

15. 2010: Luis Suarez's Intentional Hand-Ball

Uruguay and Ghana were all knotted up in the final minutes of their semifinals matchup. Ghana was awarded a free kick and came through with a good ball that ended up being chaotically booted around in the box. A Ghanaian foot found it and Uruguay's keeper was out of position. In order to save his team's chances of advancing, Suarez blatantly used his hands to bat the ball away, resulting in an automatic red and a penalty kick for Ghana.

14. 2010: USA Denied Chance to Complete Comeback

More controversy was found in 2010 when the U.S. marched back to erase a 2-0 halftime deficit against Slovenia. Maurice Edu then appeared to give the U.S. a late lead off a free kick, but the goal was disallowed by referee Koman Coulibaly for no apparent reason. Offside was not the call -- no one was offside. There wasn't a clear foul committed by anyone on either side. It was simply called back.

13. 2002: Rivaldo's Miserably Failed Flop

Turkey's Hakans Unsal suspected Rivaldo was trying to stall on a corner kick, so he kicked the ball at him to get things going. The ball hit Rivaldo in the arm and leg, but he dropped to the ground clutching his face. To make matters even worse, Unsal received his second yellow card and was consequently sent off.

12. Roberto Baggio's Missed Penalty Kick

Roberto Baggio wasn't having the greatest stretch of games, but he was still widely considered to be Italy's most gifted player. It came down to Baggio to keep the Italians in the shootout with Brazil, but his shot soared over the crossbar and Brazilians won their first World Cup in 24 years. The star of the team fell short on the biggest stage.

11. 1990: Frank Rijkaard Spit On Rudi Voller

Cheap shots aren't an uncommon thing at this level, but most of the time it's an elbow or a kick. However, when Frank Rijkaard went for it, he decided it would be a good idea to revert back to the stages of childhood and use his saliva to make a point, spitting on Rudi Voller as he jogged by.

10. 1994: Diego Maradona Failed Drug Test

Diego Maradona of Argentina
Getty Images

10. 1994: Diego Maradona Failed Drug Test

Diego Maradona of Argentina
Getty Images

Diego Maradona played the first two games with Argentina in 1994, scoring one goal and assisting another. But he would go on to test positive for the drug ephedrine, which was banned by FIFA. Maradona was suspended for the rest of the tournament and never played for Argentina again.

9. 1982: Harold Schumacher Gets Violent

Soccer takes a lot of crap for being a "soft" sport, but I think most of us recognize that's a false statement. However, for those of us who don't categorize soccer with the likes of -- well -- soft sports, we don't necessarily take it to this level. Schaumacher's slam into Patrick Battiston actually resulted in Battiston slipping into a coma. No card was handed out, not even a whistle.

8. 1986: "The Hand Of God"

Dubbed "The Hand Of God" because of -- you guessed it -- a hand-ball, Roberto Maradona found himself in even more controversy when he used his hand to deflect the ball into the net, a goal that ultimately sent England home in unbelievable and disappointing fashion.

7. 1982: Maradona's Groin Kick

Maradona. Here we go again. After frustration built from feeling as though he had been fouled all game by the Brazilians, Maradona took matters into his own hands -- or foot -- and kicked Joao Batista straight in the groin. Argentina was down 3-0 at the time, and that score held for the final.

6. 1994: Andres Escobar's Own Goal

The own goal in itself is not why this is No. 6 on the list. It's what the own goal led to that makes this such an embarrassing, ridiculous moment. A few weeks after Escobar accidentally knocked in a goal for the U.S., he was gunned down in Columbia. The common belief to this day is that it was because of his simple mistake.

5. 1982: Sheikh's Pouting Leads to Disallowed Goal

When France and Kuwait met in 1982, no one was expecting much of a fight to be put up by the Kuwaitis, and that hypothesis was correct. The French were up 3-1 late in the second half when they netted a fourth goal. But, led by the Kuwait Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Kuwaitis refused to play until the goal was eventually disallowed.

4. 1982: Germany, Austria Go Neutral

In an act of terrible sportsmanship, West Germany and Austria stopped playing after the Germans took an early lead in order to preserve the standings as they were (West Germany and Austria were both set to advance) and ensure Algeria's absence for the rest of the tournament.

3. 1966: England's World Cup 'Winner'

England has one World Cup title to its name, and it came in one of the most controversial endings imaginable. The English dropped West Germany 3-2 in extra time on a goal scored by Geoff Hurst. But did the ball even cross the line?

2. 1962: The Italy-Chile Brawl/Match

Italy and Chile were not fans of each other on this particular day, more so true than any other opponents going against each other. Chile went on to win the match -- if you want to call it that -- by a score of 2-0, but this thing looked more like a brawl than anything else.

1. 1938: Italy's Black Shirts

In the darkest moment of World Cup history, the game took a step to the side and made way for politics. The Italians were instructed to give Fascist salutes and even wear black shirts for their rivalry match against France in order to honor dictator Benito Mussolini. These games would be the last played until 1950.

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