Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mysteries, Legends and Conspiracy Theories, Part Three

1- Attenmpted Bribery-Italy and Poland during the 1974 World Cup
Also referred to as ‘Stuttgart Scandal’, in 1980 Polish captain Kazimierz Deyna revealed that the Italians had in fact tried to bribe their Polish counterparts for their match (June 23, 1974, World Cup, Poland 2-Italy 1).
In an intervew with Brian Glanville, Polish goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski claimed attempts were not made on the field but by the six Italian substitutes to the Polish substitutes. The Poles refused this bribery attempt.
Even by halftime when the poles were 2-0 up, another offer was made for a scoreline of 2-2, and again the Poles refused.
A few months after this match, Polish Manager Kazimierz Gorski told about this to a Warsaw daily newspaper, but after Italy’s UEFA President Artemio Franchi protested and threatened to bring this to FIFA, Gorski asked the journalist to withdraw his claims.

Photo From: Onze, Issue 4, April 1976
(Jan Tomaszewski, June 23, 1974, World Cup, Poland 2-Italy 1)

2- Joao Havelnage and claims of English/German Collusion
Brazilian FIFA President Joao Havelange has in the past made the claim that the 1966 and 1974 World Cups were fixed by the English and Germans.
For 1966, he references the butchery shown towards Pele, Rattin’s sending off vs. England , as well as the Uruguan players being sent off vs. West Germany.
According to him, the referees and Lienesmen were mostly English and German in those matches.
As far as 1974, The Brazil-Holland match had a German Referee and the Referee for the Final was Englishman Jack Taylor.
It is worth reminding that these were the World Cups that Brazil did not win while Havelange was the head of CBF.

Photo From: Mondial, new series, issue 47, February 1984
(Joao Havelnage)

3- Herman Haller and Juventus/Derby County 1973
There are some who have suggested the Champions Cup Semifinal between  Juventus and Derby County (April 11, 1973, Juventus 3-Derby 1) may have been fixed.
This is due to the fact that Juventus’ West German star Helmut Haller was seen chatting and going in the Referee’s quarters, who happened to be another West German Gerhard Schulenberg.

Photo From: Hurra Juventus 1971 #10 ottobre
(Helmut Haller with Juventus)

4- Bobby Robson not in charge of PSV Eindhoven for last League Match, 1990/91
World Soccer Magazine reported in their August 1991 issue that for PSV Eindhoven’s crucial last league match of the season vs. Volendam on June 16, 1991 (that they absolutely had to win to clinch the League title), English Manager Bobby Robson was not actually in charge.
It was alleged that senior PSV players had asked Technical Director Kees Ploegsma to give control of team selection and training to Assistant Manager Hans Dorjee as they viewed Robson too lax.
As a result, Dorjee trained the squad for three days prior to the match and selected the team and tactics.
It is unlikely that a Manager of Robson’s experience would allow this nor would stay on afterwards. He himself denied this version.

Photo From: World Soccer, August 1991
(Hans Dorjee and Bobby Robson)

5- Ronaldo and 1998 World Cup Final
On the morning of the 1998 World Cup Final (July 12, 1998, France 3-Brazil 0), Brazil’s Ronaldo had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital.
Initially, he was even replaced in the Final lineup with Edmundo. After he was medically cleared he was back in the lineup, though had a sub-par performance.
It is unclear what caused the seizure to this day.
The other theory is that under normal circumstances he would not have played but Nike for commercial reasons forced Brazil to play Ronaldo.

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1998
(Ronaldo and Dida, July 12, 1998, World Cup, France 3-Brazil 0)


  1. With regard to Joao Havelange's claims that the 1966 World Cup was fixed check out these two curious diplomatic dispatches sourced from the UK national archives. It seems it was a general feeling among the South Americans and something that was a slight concern for British diplomats:

    1. This would go a long way to explain why the crowd was so anti-english during the 1970 Mexico World Cup