No way! Memorable World Cup scandals and shocks

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 24, 2014 at 11:39 pm •  Published: June 24, 2014
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's World Cup has had great goals, great games and a great atmosphere. Yet it was missing the spice of scandal that made previous tournaments stick in the memory.

Until now.

Luis Suarez's apparent bite on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has left the Uruguayan striker's future in the tournament at the mercy of a FIFA investigation.

Here are some other mad moments when players lost their heads and referees lost the plot.

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HAND OF GOD

Argentina's Diego Maradona is considered the closest challenger to Pele for the world's best-ever player. But perhaps his most memorable moment came at the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals in Mexico when he punched the ball into England's net to give Argentina a 1-0 lead. To the fury of England's players, Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser thought it was a header and awarded the goal.

The game was played amid simmering tension between the countries after the Falklands War a few years earlier. Maradona stoked the fires further after by saying the goal was righteous and scored "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God" — giving it an iconic name and a place in World Cup folklore.

Typically for Maradona, who was as brilliant as he was belligerent, he scored one of the most amazing World Cup goals minutes later as he dribbled past half of England's team to score the goal that secured a 2-1 win. Maradona and Argentina went on to lift the World Cup.

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THE GOAL THAT WASN'T?

Long before the days of goal-line technology and high-definition replays, Geoff Hurst scored probably the most argued-over goal in World Cup history in England's 4-2 win over West Germany in the 1966 final. With the scores locked at 2-2 in extra time, Hurst's powerful shot ricocheted down off the crossbar and onto the ground, but had it crossed the line? England's players said yes, West Germany's players said no.

It was up to a linesman from the Soviet Union to decide. He gave the goal, and Germans still haven't forgiven him. Modern studies suggest it wasn't a goal.

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THE GOALS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN

Individual bad calls by referees can be explained away, but a game full of them sparks conspiracy theories, and the performance of Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno at the World Cup in 2002 still inflames Italians.

In the knockout game against co-host South Korea, Moreno made a litany of dubious calls, including giving the South Koreans a contentious early penalty, sending off Italy striker Francesco Totti for a supposed dive and wrongly disallowing an extra-time 'golden goal' winner by Damiano Tommasi. Italy lost 2-1, leaving fans speculating about a plot to keep the co-hosts in the tournament.

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