Tuesday, July 13, 2010

1982 FIFA World Cup


On 11 th July 2010, I was watching the World Cup Final between Netherlands and Spain at midnight. Everyone in the family had gone to sleep and I sat fighting my drowsiness hoping to witness a great match between two European teams clashing at the final. As the game progressed, there were more yellow cards shown to the players and instead of Goals there were plenty of Fouls! Somehow I sat through till the first half of the unintersting game and sleep forced me to retire. Any how the next morning there will be the retelecast of the entire play and also the highlights shown in case you are in a hurry. Ultimately it was the solitary goal by Iniesta at extra time tht sealed the fate of the Germans and for the first time in history Spain won the World Cup!

Iniesta holding the Gold Cup

My memories goes back to the times when India's love affair with the World Cup football tournament started in 1982, when for the first time the semi finals and final were telecast live on Doordarshan . There was also deferred telecast of some of the earlier round matches. At that time I was living at Chennai in my bachelor flat thrilled at the prospect of watching the live telecast of a World Cup!

The 1982 Semi final between West Germany and France took the lead and were pegged back. Then after sixty-six minutes Battiston of France collected a beautifully precise ball from Platini and raced on, there was only Schumacher in goal for West Germany to beat, the German ‘keeper rushed out to meet the Frenchman; Battiston’s effort, unfortunately, hit the post and went out. It was what happened next that enraged the neutral and the French alike. Schumacher made no effort to slow down and smashed his forearm into Battiston’s face. The Frenchman went down, the blow was so severe that he had to be given oxygen to breathe; as if this was not enough he had lost three teeth and had neck and shoulder injuries. Battiston had to be carried off on a stretcher. Incredibly the referee did not penalise Schumacher for the worst foul in World Cup history. France twice came desperately close to winning, but the match ended three-three.

The match was extened as both teams were level at 3 - 3 after extra time and a thrilling penalty shoot out started. To watch it live even on the small 14 inches B&W television was incredible!

The lucky West Germany won 5-4 on penalties (semi-finals)

I was so thrilled at having witnessed a historical telecast, I rang up my friend film Director K.G.George at 2-15 AM to talk about the match. He also kept awake and had watched the match live and we shared our happiness together at that odd early morning!

But this time I called K.G.George after the finals of the 2010 FIFA Cup match. Like me he had also did not sit through the match and had seen the highlights telecast in the nextday.

The 1982 world cup in Spain was a demonstration of power of European teams: all four semi-finalists were European, and the final saw the Italian team in its first world cup final since 1970 against the defending European champions of West Germany.Italy were in the final against the odds given to them in the first round, where they had in fact not won a single match, becoming the first team ever to qualify to the second round without a victory. In spite of the good results that had put them in the final, Italy were not favourites to win the tournament; West Germany were considered the stronger team, although they had become very unpopular in Spain.

The score was only 0-0 at half-time in a match that had been quite disappointing and overly tactical. I was young and fired with the thrill of watching a World Cup Final Live for the first time, so I sat through. In the second half the West German game reared its ugly head in the form of several rash challenges, some near the German penalty area.West Germany kept attacking, with Rummenigge being at his most dangerous. Zoff only just managed to stave the ball off thanks to an assist from Collovati. Twelve minutes after the first goal, Italy scored again, the West Germans having been unable to prevent Tardelli from loosing off a left-footer. The Italians now tried to play a possession game. with the crowd deliriously shouting “olĂ©” every time a West German attempted an unsuccessful tackle.

Briegel did nothing to endear himself to the crowd with a transparent dive the desperation of the West German players was such that they ludicrously tried to argue the issue with the referee who had waved play on. While this non-argument was going on Conti swept forwards sixty yards, pulling it in for Altobelli to put Italy three up. There was widespread cheering. Breitner did pull one back for West Germany shortly afterwards, but it was too late. Never has there been a final in which nearly all the neutral supporters wanted one side to win, but West Germany had brought this on themselves by their lack of sportsmanship.

Italy's Marco Tardelli kisses the
1982 World Cup trophy after the match

While watching the victorious Spanish team arrived at the Barajas airport in Madrid for a grand reception, I remembered the time when myself and Sunny Joseph arrived at the same airport 2004 for the 1st International Congress on Authorship Rights of Cinematographers in Huelva, Spain. Only thing is we lost our baggage in transit from Rome and luckily got it back the next day! I still remember the hospitality shown to us by the Spanish Society of Cinematographers

Spanish team which had also won the Fairplay Award as well as the Golden Glove Award surely deserve their World Cup!

1 comment:

  1. I am eagerly waiting for Brazil world cup 2014 and i am surely going the event of Brazil. I hope it will be the best event i have ever seen. fifa world cup