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FIFA World Cup – The background of the Russia-Ukraine conflict | Playon99 News

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The teams that must play for a place in the FIFA World Cup against Russia asked not to do it on Russian soil because of the conflict with Ukraine and there is a precedent. Infantino and the Committee will have to determine what to do with the Russians’ place.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Poland will have to visit Russia on March 24 for the semifinals of the play-off for a place in the FIFA World Cup, but problems have arisen.

Due to the war conflict between Russians and Ukrainians, the Polish Federation – accompanied by Sweden and the Czech Republic, possible opponents in the final – asked to take the match to neutral territory.

PlayOn99 News will leave you with a precedent involving Russia: the play-off for the 1974 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

On November 21, 1973, one of the most unusual events in the history of international soccer took place. A match that had no two teams and only eleven players on the pitch.

Russia -represented by the former USSR- had qualified for the international playoff for a place in the top event and had to face Chile, one of the teams that had won their place against Venezuela and Colombia.

The first leg would be played in Europe and the return leg in America. The Chileans, involved in the bloodiest and cruelest dictatorship in their history, had direct links with the United States -the intellectual authors of Salvador Allende’s assassination- and were at odds with the USSR.

For the first meeting they traveled to Russia with the idea of their dictator, Augusto Pinochet, to make a media display to show Chile as an example to follow, but they were in for a surprise.

The Russians, attentive to Pinochet’s plan, decided not to let cameras or journalists into the match. The score was tied at zero and no Chilean media was able to record an image.

On the eve of the second leg, the Russian Federation asked FIFA to carry out a survey of the situation in Chile because security was not guaranteed.

The world soccer’s highest body sent a committee to the American country and they visited the National Stadium of Santiago de Chile to supervise what they denounced as a concentration camp.

National Stadium of Santiago - 1973
National Stadium of Santiago – 1973

The authorities entered the stadium and the survey revealed no irregularities, ignoring the more than 8,000 detainees in the inner ring of the stadium. Many more people were detained and disappeared in that place.

FIFA determined that the second leg should be played in Chile and the USSR, firm in its decision, did not send any team.

The decision cost the elimination of the Russian team, but what happened was unprecedented: Chile opened the stadium, sent its players onto the field, and, with an official referee’s whistle to open the match, its eleven players played the ball until they scored a goal.

A phantom match. No opposing team, no opposition whatsoever. An unprecedented display in the history of world soccer that had 15,000 spectators in the stands, among whom it is estimated that the relatives of the victims were looking for some trace inside the rings.

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