For all the glory and grandeur that bedecks the FIFA folklore, football’s most prestigious competition, the World Cup, has also witnessed its fair share of despicable moments.
Over the years, there have been events that taint the prestige of the cup and the values it stands for. Some are buried deep in history, while some are still afresh in the memory. But both equally besmirch the face of the competition, and are hence contemptuously dismissed into the hall of shame.
With the 2018 World Cup lurking just around the corner, let’s put our necks on the line and recollect top 5 horrible moments from football’s biggest stage:
#5 Frank Rijkaard spitting on Rudi Voller (Netherlands vs West Germany, 1990)
Germany and Netherlands once shared hostile rivalry. It all began with the World Cup final in 1974 which the Die Mannschaft clinched over their European counterparts. But the hostility hit its peak when the sides clashed in the round of 16 of the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
West Germany won the game 2-1, but not before the controversial scenes involving Rudi Voller and Fran Rijkaard.
The Dutchman brought the forward down with a rash challenge that earned him a yellow. Anguish with the decision as it wasn’t deliberate, Rijkaard runs in behind from Voller and spits on him. It triggered a heated exchange of words, but later on in the match, Rijkaard would have a go at the German and twist his ears in an act of provocation, and the resulting melee saw both players getting sent off.
Even while walking off the field, he was captured spitting on Voller again, though the two would bury the hatchet after the World Cup and even appear in a commercial together!