Football: Chile - 10 fascinating footballing facts

Click to follow
The Independent Online
1 Chile were banned by Fifa, world football's ruling body, from the 1994 World Cup in the United States following a bizarre incident in a qualifier against Brazil for the 1990 finals in Italy. Rojas, their goalkeeper, feigned injury after claiming he had been hit by a smoke bomb thrown from the crowd in an attempt to have the game abandoned. The "blood" he was covered in was said by Fifa to come from a capsule he burst over himself.

2 Chile's World Cup game with Italy in the 1962 finals on home soil became known as the "Battle of Santiago". It was described by a young David Coleman as one of the "most shameful" things television viewers would ever see, with a collection of vicious fouls that are best described as "agricultural." For good measure several fights broke out and, for the record, Chile won 2-0.

3 The 1962 finals on home soil brought Chile's best performance in a World Cup. They lost to Brazil in the semi-finals but beat Yugoslavia 1-0 in the third-place play-off. This year will be their seventh appearance in the finals and first since 1982 in Spain, when they lost to West Germany, Algeria and Austria in the first round.

4 Chile were England's first opponents in a World Cup finals, in 1950 in Brazil. England won 2-0 with goals from Stan Mortensen and Wilf Mannion before the infamous defeat by the United States in the next group game in Belo Horizonte.

5 Chile hold the unenviable record for drawing the smallest crowd to Wembley for an England match. Only 15,628 turned up for the 0-0 draw in 1989, when the gate was affected by a public transport strike.

6 Anyone expecting an away win at Wembley is likely to be disappointed. Chile had an excellent home record in the qualifiers for France, winning six out of seven games, but they failed to win a single match away.

7 It took Chile until their 34th international to register a victory. They made up for lost time, though, with a 7-1 win over Bolivia in 1926.

8 British nationals introduced the game to Chile in the late 19th century and the influence remains, with one club called Everton. The Chilean FA was formed in 1895 and is the fifth oldest in the world.

9 The last time England played Chile away was on the South American tour of 1984. England drew 0-0 there and lost 2-0 to Uruguay, with the sole victory coming over Brazil with goals from Mark Hateley and the unforgettable solo effort by John Barnes.

10 Chile qualified for the 1974 World Cup finals when the Soviet Union were disqualified for failing to fulfil their two-leg play-off match against the South Americans. The first leg ended 0-0, but the Soviets refused to play in Santiago because of the political situation there. The United States had backed a military coup to remove Salvador Allende's radical Chilean government. Chile kicked off the match with no opposition.

Comments