6 FIFA World Cup Scandals 1998 to 2014
6 Bad FIFA World Cup Headlines
The past two decades of World Cup games has produced dramatic headlines for issues other than scoring goals.
The FIFA World Cup has been enrapturing soccer fans around the world for almost a century. First held in 1930, it is an event, like the Olympics, held every four years in a new city. Due to its infrequent gathering, focal of world attention, ever-changing location, and large size; protests or controversies inevitably follow. However, over the past few decades, this World Cup-based conflict has produced shocking headlines full of scandal and violence.
For anyone following the current FIFA World Cup in Brazil, it is impossible to miss the point that many Brazilians have been evicted in preparation for the event. Unfortunately, it is easy to get confused about the sources of this unrest. This is especially true since protestors against the World Cup in 2013 dealt with extreme police brutality. The middle class also complained about how the World Cup was causing a rise in the cost of living.
2010 South Africa
During the 2010 South Africa games in Durban, the protest themes were related to the banning of soccer players with AIDS and World Cup money spending. As the games began, the security company that was contracted to protect the stadiums went on strike. This led to a protest where South African police shot at the security guards with rubber bullets. The shocking quote from the South African Police Chief Bheki Cele stated, "If anybody else disrupts any other stadium we are ready, in the shortest possible time, to take over that stadium. There shall be no disruption of 2010 FIFA World Cup matches here in South Africa."
When the World Cup took place in Germany in 2006, the protesters were standing up for victims of human trafficking. While some protests can be refuted, the academic studies done after the fact are irrefutable. Major sporting events like the Kentucky Derby and the Super Bowl have been linked to an increase in men and women enslaved to work as prostitutes. Estimates state that up to 40,000 women were used in human trafficking at the 2006 World Cup.
2002 South Korea
South Korea hosted the 2002 World Cup and it brought protesters enraged toward the Americans. In the weeks before the World Cup, a US military vehicle killed two young girls. However, due to the focus on the World Cup, the incident gained little notice. Adding further insult, the driver of the military vehicle was acquitted. The protests against America in relation to this incident included flag burning and pop stars creating songs against America.
Americans entrenched in World Cup fever are likely to remember the headlines that ran throughout the United States in 1998. Long considered an enemy, when the World Cup had Iran play the USA, the whole country watched. This led many sports writers to saying it was one of the "most politically charged games in World Cup history."
If you love movies about warlords run ning a country, the story behind scandals at the 1994 World Cup in Columbia will be your cup of tea. Behind the scenes, Paulo Escobar and his drug cartel were thought to be pulling strings. When Columbian World Cup soccer player Andres Escobar was murdered, this confirmed the fears of many that the drug cartel was controlling the games. Years later, the mystery behind the murder of Andres Escobar has never been solved.