A new addition about social and Political events’ impact on the sport
1- The Falklands War and Osvaldo Ardiles
Argentina’s Osvaldo Ardiles was an idol for the fans at England’s Tottenham Hotspur fro many seasons. He had transfered there along with compatriot Ricardo Villa following the 1978 World Cup. He had been one of the rare foreign-born players to adapt to the British game.
The outbreak of the Falklands War in 1982 between his Nation and the United Kingdom forced him to leave England on patriotic grounds.
He was loaned to France’s Paris St. Germain at the start of the 1982/83 season.
In the middle of the season, with the political situation stable, he returned to Tottenham.
Photo From: Onze, Issue 81, September 1982
(Osvaldo Ardiles at Paris St. Germain, 1982/83)
2- Vittorio Pozzo at the 1938 World Cup
Pre-War Italy Manager Vittorio Pozzo used the politics of the day to his advantage to motivate his squad.
During the 1938 World Cup in France, he was well aware that many Italians that had fled Mussolini’s fascism had settled there.
Before Italy’s Opening match at Marseille vs. Norway on June 5, 1938 (Italy2 –Norway 1), he knew that some of the expatriate Italians in the Stadium would jeer the Italian national Anthem, specially the customary fascist salute.
He instructed his players to maintain their salute (their arms held up) until all the jeering and heckling had subsided. This way he believed he instilled in them patriotic fervor for the match.
It is unclear if he himself was a fascist, many observers do not believe so, though his methods and training regimen seemed dictatorial.
Photo From: La Nazionale Italiana, 1978
(Italy and Norway squads prior to the kick-off: June 5, 1938, World Cup, Italy 2-Norway 1)
Photo From: Azzurri, Storia della Nazionale di calcio tre volte campioni del Mondo, 1910-1983
(Vittorio Pozzo with the World Cup trophy, June 19, 1938, World Cup, Italy 4-Hungary 2)
3- El Salvador and Honduras, Futbol War of 1969
It would be simplistic to say a Football match led to an all out war between two neighboring nations. One would have to extensively study the history of the nations and all the social and political events that led to it.
Following two World Cup qualifiers that each home nation won, a play-off in neutral Mexico City, on June 26, 1969, was to decide who would qualify for the World Cup.
El Salvador won the match (3-2) and on the same day cut off all diplomatic ties with Honduras.
On July 14, 1969, the El Salvador Air Force started bombing Honduras. On July 18th, the Organization of American States negotiated a cease-fire to end the conflict.
4- USSR and Chile, World Cup Qualifier, 1973
On November 21, 1973, Chile were to host USSR in a World Cup Qualifying playoff in Santiago’s Estadio Nacional.
The first leg in Moscow on September 26th had resulted in a scoreless tie.
On August 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet had assumed control of Chile following a Military Coup.
The Soviets refused to play Chile in that Stadium. They claimed that Pinochet’s regime had tortured and executed left leaning political prisoners in that same stadium following the Coup.
The match was forfeited and Chile qualified for the World Cup.
Chile was present at the field on matchday and scored after a mock kick-off.
Incidentally right after the farce ‘match’, Chile played a Friendly vs. Brazil’s Santos and lost 0-5.
Photo From: World Soccer, March 1974
(Chilean players during the mock kick-off, November 21, 1973)
5- Billy Bingham
Following the 1986 World Cup, Northern Ireland Manager was employed as a Manager in Saudi Arabia with Al Nassr.
He was still the Northern Ireland National Team manager, in addition to his management duties with Al Nassr.
On February 18, 1987, Northern Ireland were due to play a Friendly vs. Israel at Tel Aviv (1-1 tie.)
Due to obvious political reasons, he diplomatically did not manage Northern Ireland for that match. James Archibald Platt stood in for him.
Photo From: World Soccer, June 1993