The Battle of Santiago – Chile vs Italy – 1962

19 05 2010
One of the World Cup’s most memorable matches, for all the wrong reasons, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. The first foul was 12 seconds in, the first sending off was after 8 minutes. Remarkably, there were only 2 sendings off in total, both for Italy. David Coleman had particularly strong words:
“The most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game”.
This was the first time the two nations had played each other, but tension had been brewing between the coutries leading up to the game. In 1960, the Valdivia earthquake, the most powerful earthquake ever recored, killed over 6,000 and caused untold damage in Chile, heavily disrupting their preparations for the World Cup. On visiting Chile in the weeks leading up to the World Cup, two Italian journalists reportedly sent home less than favourable stories about Santiago, describing it as a poverty-stricken hell hole full of loose women. The reports were heavily exaggerated by the Chilean press and the two journalists were forced to flee the country in fear of their lives. An Argentinian journalist, mistaken as an Italian was brutally beaten up in a Santiago bar, illustrating the anger of the Santiagans. 
The game itself views like a compilation of horrible tackles. The police had to enter the pitch, firstly to escort a red carded player off the pitch and regularly in the second half to break up the players. The sly punch at 1:10 is probably my favourite, or possibly the drop kick at 2:10….



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