The World Cup will kick-off on 14th June 2018 in Russia. The hosts will take on Middle East nation Saudi Arabia to open the tournament for the World to enjoy. Germany is the defending Champion and many expect them to challenge once again. Other top contenders this year include five-time winners Brazil,  France, Spain, Belgium, and Argentine. Today, as we continue with the build-up, we want to take a look at five of the most controversial moments in the history of the tournament.

5. Suarez Dramas- 2010 & 2014

Uruguay forward Luis Suarez is not a popular figure in Africa because of what he did to Ghana in 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The Barcelona striker decided to become the goalkeeper to stop Dominic Adiyiah goal deep into extra-time. The referee sent him off and awarded a penalty to the Black Stars. The entire continent watched as Asamoah Gyan shot hit the crossbar. The West Africans went to lose in post-match penalties. It was the closest a team from the continent had come to reach a semi-final in the World Cup.

In 2014, the same player was at it again this time against Italy. In a group stage clash, the attacker decided to bite defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder. It was the third time he was doing this to his opponents in his career. He had done it at Ajax in Holland, and in Premier League against Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. FIFA banned him from all football activities for 4 months. In addition, he was banned for nine International matches.

4. The tragedy of Seville- 1982

FIFA most embarrassing moment happened in the semi-finals of 1982 World Cup held in the Spanish City of Seville. West Germany faced France on the day. The match was 1-1 and when French defender Patrick Battiston decided to take advantage of a loose ball. The German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher was not going to allow him to do so.

What followed is one of the most horrific injuries in the World Cup. The shot-stopper decided to teach the Frenchman a lesson with a terrible tackle as the two reached for the ball. He hit him so hard that he lost a number of teeth, broke his jaw, cracked his vertebrae and eventually went into a coma. To make matters even worse, the referee gave a goal kick with zero punishment to Schumacher. The Germans won the clash in post-match penalties after a 3-3 score in regular and extra time.

3. Andrés Escobar murder- 1994

The late Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga was a fine Columbian defender who played for Atlético Nacional, BSC Young Boys, and of course national team. The centre-back was one of the best during his time but an own goal in 1994 World Cup ended his life.

This is what happened, the centre-half netted a costly own goal against the USA that led to their elimination. The people back home were so furious with him that he was gunned down ten days later outside a nightclub by two gunmen. It was a tragedy and we will never forget him.

‘Andrés Escobar will remain in our hearts as our hero of moral integrity, as a family man and exemplary Colombian,’ said Columbia President Cesar Gavaria at his funeral.

‘Colombia must not let its best children be expelled from life’s playing field.’

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