Posted by: fancywriter | June 24, 2010

World Cup “firsts”

Africa’s hosting of tournament joins the World Cup firsts.

Have you thought of this – that the ongoing 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa is the first on African soil?

But there have been other firsts. For instance the, first French player to be red-carded in World Cup finals was Zinedine Zidane, during their first round match against Saudi Arabia in France in 1998 – the first French to be so punished in 68 years then!

“Zizou” was red-carded again in the 2006 World Cup after a spectacular head butt on Italy center-back Marco Materazzi.

The most famous jersey is 10, which has been worn by the best footballers: Pele, Maradona, Kaka.

Numbers were first used on player’s jerseys in the 1938 France World Cup but players didn’t have the mood for swapping jerseys until 1950 when they started smelling each other’s sweat “scents”

Funny, referees never showed cards to players, the first yellow having been flashed against Russia’s Evgeny Lovchev in the opener against hosts Mexico in 1970. Also substitutes were first used then. Before then only injured players were replaced.

Traditionally, World Cup winners used to open the tournament, a tradition kept until 2006 when Germany took on Costa Rica, instead of Brazil, then the world champions.

Valdemar de Brito was the first player to miss a World Cup penalty, in Brazils 3-1 loss to Spain in Italy in 1934

Sri Lanka made history during the 1978 Argentina World Cup when it became the first country to withdraw from the tournament – because of inability to pay entry fees!

Haiti’s Ernest Jean Joseph (1974 West Germany World Cup), Scotland’s Willie Johnstone¬† (1978), and Diego Maradona (Mexico 1986) have been banned for failing drug tests since testing was made mandatory at England’s 1966 World Cup.

The first own-goal agony befell Ernst Loertscher of Switzerland, against West Germany in 1938. When Colombia defender Andres Escobar repeated the same mistake in USA, 1994, he was murdered two weeks after returning home.

The first country to be eliminated by toss of coin in qualifying round was Spain, losing to Turkey after a 2-2 tie in a playoff in 1954.

And at Mexico (1986) Paraguayan coach Cayetano became the first coach to be sent off, during the Belgium versus Paraguay match.

Was there any other World Cup “first”?


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