The world of international soccer is filled with theories, rumors and problems… but conspiracies? Yes… even soccer has it’s fair share of conspiracy theories. Why don’t you kick back and take a look at some of the most popular soccer conspiracies in the world… you may be shocked that so much can happen in the world of sport.
Nike Makes Brazil Play Ronaldo in 1998 World Cup Final
Ronaldo was an integral part of Brazil’s run to the final in the 1998 World Cup. What happened right before that final though is up for debate.
Ronaldo apparently fell ill the night before the final and was not going to appear for his side. Rumours have it that Nike forced its hand with the Brazilian FA and made sure the team’s star performer was on hand to showcase the company’s brand.
Things didn’t work out too well for Nike or Ronaldo as Zidane stole the spotlight and led France, who were sponsored by Adidas, to a victory while Ronaldo was completely ineffective.
The Selections for World Cup 2018 and 2022 Were Influenced by Oil and Money
The theory here, especially with the selection of Qatar, is that FIFA opted for money rather than a great footballing experience when they chose these countries for the next two World Cups.
To be fair, Russia seems a legitimate option especially when you consider the changes going on at the club level. While representatives of the US and England, the beaten finalist in both those bids, might not go as far as to say that oil and money were important, fans and viewers will not be so diplomatic.
Barcelona Benefits Because of UNICEF Partnership and UEFA Favouritism
Barcelona used to have the UNICEF logo on its kit as a part of a partnership between the football club and the organization. That logo recently changed thanks to another partnership with the Qatar foundation.
During the time with UNICEF, fans and a certain coach had the belief that Barcelona benefited from this partnership on the field as well as off it.
Jose Mourinho had his say about that partnership during last year’s Champions League, though UNICEF wasn’t really bothered by those comments.
This year, even with a different logo on, Mourinho has been at it again with his belief that UEFA favours the Catalan club, something which Zlatan Ibrahimovic agreed with.
South Korea Got Some Help in Its Run to the 2002 World Cup Semi-final
South Korea reached the semi-final of the 2002 World Cup as one of the co-hosts of the competition. They first beat Italy and then Spain in dramatic fashion before losing out to Germany in a close game.
The Italy game stands out in this conspiracy, as many Italian officials were quick to point out. The team felt that they were on the receiving end of some questionable calls including the expulsion of Francesco Totti.
Portugal, felt they received similar treatment in an important group game as did Spain in the quarterfinal.
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