One of the most bizarre episodes in World Cup finals history is at number 6 in PETE SPENCER’S World Cup countdown…

KUWAIT

KUWAIT WALK-OFF 1982

Kuwait, making their only ever World Cup appearance had already earned a draw against Czechoslovakia. They were up against France in Valladolid and losing 1-3 with ten minutes remaining.

Platini put Giresse through but the Kuwait defence stopped as they heard the whistle. Unfortunately, someone in the crowd had blown a whistle and so Giresse carried on and scored. This triggered a mass sulk from the Kuwaitis, encouraged by the Kuwait FA President sitting in the stands. He ordered the players off the pitch. The game was held up for about fifteen minutes as both sets of players maintained they had played to the whistle, unfortunately not the same one. Astonishingly, the referee agreed to chalk off the goal and award a drop-ball.

The French eventually scored a fourth goal and FIFA was so critical of the referee’s performance they took his licence away from him. Although they were less successful in tracking down the phantom whistle blower of Valladolid.

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