FIFA World Cup quarter-finals kick off on Friday, 6th of July 2018. France and Uruguay will be the first to take to the pitch followed by Brazil and Belgium. England will entertain Sweden on Saturday and then Croatia will try to kill Russia dreams in the final last eight clash. The 2018 tournament has been crazy in so many ways. For instance, Three Lions last 16 clash against Colombia was the dirtiest match so far this year. The match referee Mark Geiger produced eight yellow cards, six of them going to the South Americans. Today, as we continue to enjoy the Russia tourney, let’s take a look at six dirtiest matches in World Cup history.

6. West Germany V Holland- 2 Red Cards (1990)

This game was the final before the main final. It was a last 16 clash between two teams that were considered favorites to lift the trophy. None of the two was ready to go home so early in the tournament and this only meant it was going to be fierce. Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Voller were sent off for spitting and stamping at each other. The Dutchman did not just do it once, he did it again live on television when he was red carded.

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5. Italy V Argentina- 1 Red Card, 23 fouls (1982)

Argentina could’ve lifted more World Cup titles only if their star play Diego Maradona was protected well enough by officials. The star helped his country lift the trophy in 1986 but he could have done it earlier. For instance, in 1982, Italy decided to stop the South Americans at all cost. They came up with a plan to stop the star player and Claudio Gentile was the man to orchestrate the plan. The Italian defender committed 23 fouls on Maradona alone but only got a yellow card. To make matters worse, it is Diego teammate Americo Gallego who got sent off for a push. Italy won the game 2-1 and went on to lift the title.

4. Italy V Chile- 2 Red Cards (1962)

One of the reasons why we have the current yellow and red cards system is because of what happened in 1962 between Italy and Chile. The game first foul was committed in the 12th second. The clash then became a battlefield because Chilean players just started spitting at their opponents. The English referee Ken Aston decided to send off two Italian players to calm everything down. The dirty game is still referred to as ‘Battle of Santiago’. FIFA reviewed its punitive measures to try and prevent similar incidents in future. The hosts won the game 2-0.

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