In a recent interview with Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo Havelange (a Brazilian) claimed that referees assigned to Brazil’s games in the 1966 World Cup finals tried to harm Brazil and to favour hosts England and West Germany.

Brazil had virtually the same team (that won the World Cup) in 1962. Who was FIFA president? Sir Stanley Rous, an Englishman. Where was the Cup played? In England.

What was the final? England vs Germany. Why were there only German and English referees in my games.The same happened in 1974, in Germany. Do you not think that is strange? And I ask you, did England ever become a champion again, or did it win anything? No. That’s where we are at.

In my three games, against Portugal, Hungary and Bulgaria, there were three referees and six assistants. Seven were English and two were German. Why do you think that happened? To destroy my team. And they destroyed it. Pele left injured.

It is an interesting article, but at times over the top.  You can’t argue against the fact that England have never even reached a World Cup final on foreign shores, but we did the host nation does have an opportunity to do better, and we didn’t have a bad team.

For good measure, Havelange also claimed that the 1974 World Cup was fixed:

The Netherlands had problems with oil, they had no oil because (the price) had risen a lot and they were riding bicycles. It was (then US secretary of state Henry) Kissinger who had gone there to settle that. He arrived at the stadium to watch Brazil-Netherlands, and (FIFA president) Stanley Rous designated (referee Kurt) Tschenscher, from Germany, who was 50 at the time.


Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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