THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Friday 26 April 2013
Last update 25 April 2013 8:29 pm
ZURICH: A FIFA-hosted conference on World Cup history has been told that football’s biggest prize was twice won with the help of dictators fixing matches for the host team.
According to “The Relevance and Impact of FIFA World Cups” symposium, Argentina’s triumph in 1978 and Italy’s 1934 victory were influenced by military leaders seeking propaganda coups.
Italian writer Marco Impiglia tells The Associated Press: “It’s the same old story: Sport and politics are brothers and sometimes sport is under the other brother.” Impiglia presented a paper suggesting Italy’s fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, ensured favorable refereeing decisions, which helped the host team win.
Raanan Rein, an Israeli professor of Latin American history, says he’s “100 percent persuaded” that Argentina’s then-ruling military junta influenced a 6-0 win against Peru.