The fable of the Irish 1965 World Cup campaign games against Spain. A story of brilliance, luck and dodgy decisions as told by Dermot Corrigan.
Ireland played three games against Spain in the run-up to the 1966 World Cup.
One in Dalymount, Dublin, which they won. One in Sevilla, which they lost. The third was to be played in a neutral venue (these were the days before aggregate scores.)
The two countries' negotiating teams sat down to decide on the neutral ground. Ireland wanted London or Liverpool; Spain wanted Lisbon. Finally, they decided on Paris.
However, when the Irish team ran out onto the Paris pitch, they were greeted by a sea of red and gold Spanish flags - Paris had a huge Spanish population. Hardly a tricolour to be seen - a neutral venue it was not.
Later, it transpired that the FAI had agreed to Paris in return for the gate receipts from both teams - £25,000. Three times their annual income but not as much as they would have received had they qualified.
Ireland lost to Spain in Paris.
Wuz we robbed? Of course we wuz!!
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