PETE SPENCER looks at the role of match fixing or ‘result manipulation’ in the latest of his Top 10 World Cup countdown.



Argentina had been the beneficiary of the fixture schedule all the way through the tournament in 1978. The second phase was another group stage and Argentina had the luxury of kicking off knowing what they had to do to reach the Final. They needed to beat Peru by four goals. If you’ve been following this you’ll know the Peruvian keeper was Quiroga, born in Rosario, the venue for the match. More importantly the Argentine military junta did a deal with their counterparts in Peru to accept political prisoners, on condition Peru loses by the requisite amount.

Hence, Argentina won 6-0.

In 1982 West Germany was humbled by Algeria and needed to beat Austria to reach the next round. Austria had won their opening two matches so were already through. Ten minutes into the match, the Germans scored and that was basically it. The two sides disgracefully knocked the ball around for 80 minutes then walked off.

As a result FIFA changed the rules so the final two games in each group would be played simultaneously avoiding possible collusion. Despite admitting there had been ‘foul play’ FIFA refused to punish either side. The poor Algerians were the real losers in all this and there was nothing they could do about it.