If you thought modern football can be rough at times you ain’t seen nothing yet. During the 1962 World Cup, the hosts Chile took on the Italians for the first ever time in what would later be dubbed ‘The Battle of Santiago’.
Now considering yellow and red cards hadn’t actually been invented yet, you can imagine this would’ve been a fucking nightmare of a game to referee. The man in charge was Englishman Ken Aston – a pioneer within refereeing circles and, given his previous working history as a school teacher, soldier & judge, this type of debacle must’ve been right up his street. The match begins with a fairly reckless exchange of kicks from two or three players which in today’s game would’ve seen all parties instantly dismissed. Twenty minutes in and a similar scene ensues, resulting in Italian striker, Forini, being escorted of the pitch by police for an early shower.
Chile then take the lead which did little to help the Italians with their anger management issues. During the 60th minute another Chilean is mercilessly booted as he falls on the ball and, with Italy’s defender arguing obstruction, the South American delivers a decent left hook that puts the man on the deck. Strangely enough, this went unpunished in front of the home fans, but not by the defender who, five minutes later, performs what can only be described as a Bruce Lee style Kung-Fu kick to the face, all but decapitating the lad. Rough justice to say the least (fast forward to 2:00).
The martial artist is sent off and Chile score again before the melee continues, at which point the ref, with a few bumps and bruises himself (mental as well as physical no doubt), calls off the match.
The old school English footy broadcaster begins the commentary with this statement, “Good evening, the game you’re about to see, is quite possibly the most stupid, appalling, disgusting & disgraceful exhibition of football in the history of the game.”
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I’d be inclined to agree. Check it out for yourself and let us know if you have seen a more barbaric contest in your life!?