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The Battle of Santiago

Updated: Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010 16:56

Zito celebrates a goal for Brazil in the 1962 final
Zito celebrates a goal for Brazil in the 1962 final

Chile supporters were wound up for the Group B clash with Italy at the 1962 World Cup before kick-off, and it did not take long for their aggressive passion to transfer to their heroes.

The home fans, furious at a series of derogatory articles which had appeared in Italian newspapers prior to the World Cup, booed the Azzurri from the outset.

The Italians, for their part, claimed tension was heightened by the home players' habit of spitting in their faces.

The battle was not slow in commencing. Italy's Giorgio Ferrini was sent off by English referee Ken Aston for retaliating against Honorino Landa and play was held up for eight minutes when Ferrini refused to leave the pitch.

Chile's Leonel Sanchez punched Mario David and when Aston took no action, David was sent off for kicking Sanchez in the neck.

Humberto Maschio then broke his nose in a clash with Eladio Rojas.

Chile won 2-0 and the Italians were later attacked at their training camp.

When highlights of the match were shown on BBC television, David Coleman introduced the game thus: 'Good evening. The game you are about to see is the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game.'

Brazil won the competition that year, defeating Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the final.

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