After Lewis Hamilton was handed a controversial victory over Sebastian Vettel in the Canadian Grand Prix, we take a look at five other unworthy winners…
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 9, 2019
South Korea v Italy, World Cup 2002
The 2002 World Cup will be fondly remembered by most football fans. Those early kick-offs meant cracking open a beer at 7am was socially acceptable. Everybody was rocking a fucking-awful looking Beckham Mohawk. And we all watched in awe as Ronaldinho lobbed Seaman from thirty-yards. No wonder he was such a hit with the ladies.
But for Italy fans, the tournament will be remembered for the actions of one man. The Ecuadorian referee, Byron Moreno. Moreno officiated the Round of 16 game between the Azzurri and co-hosts South Korea which ended in a controversial 2-1 victory for the home side.
His performance was later scrutinized for several dodgy decisions. He awarded South Korea a soft penalty in the first half (which was saved by Gianluigi Buffon), and later disallowed what would have been a golden goal by Damiano Tommasi for offside, as well as showing a second yellow card to Francesco Totti for a dive in South Korea’s penalty area in extra-time while he was 40 yards away from the play.
After Moreno was arrested in 2010 at JFK Airport in NYC while trying to smuggle in six kilos of heroin in his underwear, the Italian goalkeeper remarked: “Six kilograms of drugs? He had them already in 2002 but not in his underwear. In his system.”
Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury, 2018
Not since Chumbawamba were in the charts has anyone been knocked down and got back up again so impressively as Tyson Fury during his 2018 World Heavyweight Championship bout against Deontay Wilder.
Twice, Fury was floored by the hard-hitting Wilder only to rise on the eight count like The Undertaker in his WWE heyday. Despite the knockdowns, Fury boxed his heart out and appeared to be the clear and obvious points winner when the bell tolled at the end of round twelve.
However, a chorus of boos echoed around the Los Angeles Staples Centre when contest was declared a controversial split draw. The only winner on the night was Frank Warren’s bank manager with a rematch inevitable.
Luis Suarez/Uruguay v Ghana, World Cup 2010
If someone told Luis Suarez Uruguay would win their World Cup Quarter Final against Ghana on penalties after he saw red for deliberate handball, he’d have bitten your arm off – literally. And but for the absolute downright cheating bastardry of Suarez in the dying seconds of extra-time, Ghana looked certain to become the first African side to reach the last four in the competition’s history.
The toothy striker celebrated in the tunnel when the Black Stars’ Asamoah Gyan skimmed the crossbar with the resulting spot kick. The game went to penalties with Gyan showing incredible balls to take the first spot-kick of the shoot-out but his compatriots John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah both had their low strikes saved by Fernando Muslera.
Meanwhile, Uruguay’s Sebsatian Abreu dinked the decisive penalty beyond Richard Kingson as his side sealed a semi-final showdown with the Netherlands. Suarez joined Liverpool for £23m the following year although it’s unclear how much of that fee was spent on his ivory tusks.
Lance Armstrong’s entire career
Lance Armstrong’s story was supposed to be an inspiring tale about his triumph over cancer and subsequent triumphs in his beloved sport of cycling. His record breaking haul of seven consecutive Tour de France wins made him the most successful cyclist in the history of the sport. Armstrong retired for good in 2011 but in August 2012 the USADA announced that Armstrong would be stripped of his seven Tour titles, as well as other honours he received from 1999 to 2005 and banned from cycling for life.
“The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that the sport had ever seen,” Travis Tygart, chief executive of the USADA, said in a statement. To be honest, I think the man deserves more credit. I tried to cycle to the shop on drugs one morning and fell off, losing my front teeth in the process.
Shawn Michaels v Bret Hart, 1997 Survivor Series
What do you mean professional wrestling isn’t a real sport? If Curling is a sport, then so is wrestling. The 1997 Survivor Series bout between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels – commonly referred to as the ‘Montreal Screw Job’ – is arguably the most talked-about incident in the history of pro wrestling.
Hart, an employee of Vince McMahon’s WWF since 1984, had recently signed a multi-million-dollar contract with rival promotion WCW. With Hart reluctant to lose the title in his home country of Canada against Michaels, with whom he had a long-running on and off-screen feud, it was agreed Survivor Series match would end with a disqualification. Hart would then lose or forfeit the title at a later date.
However, taking instructions from McMahon at ringside, referee Earl Hebner ended the match as Michaels held Hart in the Sharpshooter submission hold, Hart’s signature finishing move, even though Hart had not submitted. Years of animosity followed between Hart and McMahon, with McMahon claiming Bret tried to have him thrown out of Owen Hart’s funeral in 1999. You can understand Vince’s anger. If it wasn’t for him, there wouldn’t even have been a funeral in the first place.