1-Poland’s World Cup Qualifier at Malta on December 7, 1980 was mired by on and off field incidents.
Poland goalkeeper Józef Młynarczyk arrived drunk to the airport on Poland’s flight to Italy for training prior to Malta match.
Poland manager Ryszard Kulesza immediately dropped him.
However, Zbigniew Boniek, Władysław Żmuda and Stanisław Terlecki came to Młynarczyk’s defense and threatened a boycott unless he was re-instated.
All four players were sent home to face disciplinary hearings.
For the match itself, Poland protested playing in the infamous Gzira non-grassy stadium.
When Lipka scored his goal in the 75th minute, the linesman had raised his flag for offside but the referee validated the goal.
Malta fans in anger threw stones and objects onto the field; the referee had no choice but to abandon the match. The result (2-0 Poland win) was later affirmed.
As a result of the mutiny Boniek and Terlecki were suspended for one year.
Józef Młynarczyk and Zmuda were suspended for eight months.
Józef Młynarczyk was also suspended 2 years from the national team.
Finally Włodzimierz Smolarek was also suspended for two months.
Due to the severity of the sentences the manager Kuszela offered to resign.
He was dismissed by the federation and replaced by Antoni Piechniczek.By September 1981, Mlynarczyk, Zmuda and Boniek were reprieved and back from suspension.
Photo from: Mondial, January 1981(Poland goalkeeper, Józef Młynarczyk)
2- During the 1990 World Cup match between Argentina and USSR, Diego Maradona stopped a soviet goal bound attempt by diverting the ball with his right hand.
The incident went unnoticed by the referee though replays clearly showed the incident.This prompted Brazil’s manager, Sebastiano Lazaroni, to say that Maradona is a good all around player; he can score goals with his left hand (referring to 1986 Hand of God vs. England) and save them with his right.
Photo from: Soccer International, June 1990(1990 World Cup Brazil manager, Sebastiano Lazaroni)
Photo from: El Grafico, Number 3688, extra(Soviet Oleg Protasov during the USSR-Argentina match)
3-Ruud Gullit had retired from the Dutch national team in the summer of 1993 due to personal reasons. After an excellent season with his club Sampdoria in 1993/94, he was persuaded to come out of retirement in time for the World Cup in USA.
However, after one match, Gullit abruptly quit the team for good during preparations.
He cited no reason at the time and at the press conference sat next to manager Dick Advocaat his head down and did not say a word.
After his withdrawal Marco van Basten volunteered to take his place in the squad.
The AC Milan management immediately nixed the idea, as Van Basten had not played at all during the entire season as he was recovering from injury/surgery and there was concern about the risk of a new injury
Photo from: World Soccer, December 1993(Ruud Gullit)
4- Bernard Boissier of Nîmes Olympique has the distinction of having the shortest international career in the history of France national team.
He earned his solitary cap by coming on in the 88th minute of a friendly on April 26, 1975 vs. Portugal.
Photo From: L'Aventure des Bleus, les 50 plus belles histories de l'equipe de France de Football, Authors: Alain Mercier, Cyril Pocreaux(Bernard Boissier signing an autograph at the end of his 2 minutes as an international)
5-Scotland’s participation in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland is mostly remembered for its disastrous planning and organization on and off the field.
To start off, of the selected 22 players only 13 traveled with only one goalkeeper. The rest remained on stand-by in Scotland.
Apparently only 13 were sent for financial and cost saving reasons.
The players had only a handful of caps each; only two of the selected players had earned more than 10 caps.
No Rangers FC Glasgow were chosen as they were scheduled to tour North America.
Players trained in their club jerseys and not any official kit.
Further embarrassment occurred for the first game vs. Austria.
When Austrian captain Ernst Ocwirk handed a pennant to Scotland captain Willie Cunningham, he had nothing to hand over to Ocwirk.
Just before the second game vs. Uruguay, Scotland manager Andy Beattie resigned.
Scotland lost 0-1 to Austria and 0-7 to Uruguay.
Photo From: Scotland, The Team, Author Andrew Ward, 1987(June 16, 1954, World Cup, Austria 1-Scotland 0)