El Molinón, the venue for the match
|Event||1982 FIFA World Cup|
|Both teams advance to second round |
Algeria eliminated from 1982 FIFA World Cup on goal difference
|Date||25 June 1982|
|Venue||El Molinón, Gijón|
|Referee||Bob Valentine (Scotland)|
The "Disgrace of Gijón" is the name given to a 1982 FIFA World Cup football match played between West Germany and Austria at the El Molinón stadium in Gijón, Spain, on 25 June 1982. The match was the last game of the first-round Group 2, with Algeria and Chile having played the day before. With the outcome of that match already decided, a win by one or two goals for West Germany would result in both West Germany and Austria qualifying at the expense of Algeria, who had defeated West Germany in the first game. West Germany took the lead after 10 minutes, after which the remaining 80 minutes were characterized by few serious scoring attempts on either side. Both teams were accused of match-fixing, although FIFA ruled that neither team broke any rules.
As a result of this, and similar events at the previous World Cup in Argentina, FIFA revised the group system for future tournaments, so that the final two games in each group would be played simultaneously. In German, the match is known as Nichtangriffspakt von Gijón (lit. "Non-aggression pact of Gijón") or Schande von Gijón (lit. "Disgrace of Gijón"), while in Algeria it is called (faa Kh?kh?n, "Scandal of Gijón"); it is also called the Anschluss (in reference to the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938).
|1||Austria||2||2||0||0||3||0||+3||4||Advance to second round|
Algeria began their campaign by recording a shock 2-1 win over West Germany on the opening day, described as the "greatest World Cup upset since North Korea beat Italy in 1966", and as "one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history". Algeria became the first African or Arab team to defeat a European team at the FIFA World Cup. They then went on to lose 0-2 to Austria before beating Chile 3-2 in their final match. Algeria's victory over Chile made them the first ever African or Arab team to win twice at a World Cup.
As Algeria played that final match the day before West Germany met Austria, the two European teams knew what result they needed in order to qualify for the next round. A West German win by one or two goals would see both West Germany and Austria qualify. A larger West German victory, by three goals or more, would see West Germany and Algeria qualify (because Algeria had scored more goals than Austria, they would qualify even with the same goal difference), while a draw or an Austrian win would eliminate the West Germans.
After ten minutes of furious attack, West Germany succeeded in scoring through a goal by Horst Hrubesch after a cross from the left. After the goal was scored, the team in possession of the ball often passed between themselves in their own half until an opposition player came into the vicinity of the ball, then the ball was then passed back to the goalkeeper. Isolated long balls were played into the opposition's half, with little consequence. There were few tackles, and both sets of players flamboyantly missed with apparently no attempt at accuracy whenever they shot on goal. The only Austrian player who seemed to make any effort at livening the game up was Walter Schachner, though he had little success, while one of the few serious attempts on net was made by Wolfgang Dremmler of West Germany.
This performance was widely deplored by all observers. West German ARD commentator Eberhard Stanjek at one point refused to comment on the game any longer. Austrian commentator Robert Seeger bemoaned the spectacle, and asked viewers to turn off their television sets. George Vecsey, a New York Times journalist, stated that the teams "seemed to work in concert", though added that proving such would be impossible.El Comercio, the local newspaper, printed the match report in its crime section, under the headline "Forty thousand people presumably scammed by twenty six Austrians and Germans".
Likewise, many spectators were not impressed and voiced their disgust with the players. Chants of "Fuera, fuera" ("Out, out"), "Argelia, Argelia" ("Algeria, Algeria"), and "Que se besen, que se besen" ("Let them kiss, let them kiss") were shouted by the Spanish crowd, while angry Algerian supporters waved banknotes at the players. The match was criticized even by the West German and Austrian fans who had hoped for a hot rematch of the 1978 World Cup match, the so-called "Miracle of Córdoba", in which Austria had beaten West Germany; one West German fan burned the national flag in protest.
|1||West Germany||3||2||0||1||6||3||+3||4||Advance to second round|
With West Germany's 1-0 victory, they joined Austria and Algeria with four points in three matches. The teams were separated by goal difference, with West Germany and Austria progressing to the next round of the tournament at the expense of Algeria. The match-fixing saw Austria give up their opportunity to be first in the group (by winning or drawing the match) in exchange for a sure opportunity to advance. The bargaining positions of the two teams were affected by West Germany being in danger of elimination if they failed to win, but also being the better team. By coming second in the group, Austria's second-stage group was France and Northern Ireland. West Germany's opponents were hosts Spain and England who had previously beaten France. Also, for three of the starting players (Horst Hrubesch for West Germany, Josef Degeorgi and Roland Hattenberger for Austria), an additional incentive to avoid aggressive play was that they had been previously booked in their respective teams' first two games. Under the rules then in force, an additional yellow card for any of them in the final group match would have resulted in them serving an automatic one-match ban to start the second round.
After the match, the West German team went back to their hotel where they were met by furious spectators who threw eggs and other projectiles at them; the West Germans returned fire with water bombs. German and Austrian television commentators were so appalled at the match that they urged viewers on live television to stop watching the match and watch something else. The Algerian football officials lodged an official protest. In addition, the president of the Algerian Football Federation opined that referee Bob Valentine should have intervened and his failure to do so was worthy of complaint. However, FIFA considered that no rules were broken as a result of the match, and declined to take any action. Both teams denied any collusion during the match. West Germany manager Jupp Derwall defended his team from the criticism, pointing out that Uli Stielike and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge were both unfit. The West Germans made it to the final, where they lost to Italy 3-1. Austria fell at the next group stage, to the benefit of eventual fourth-place finishers France.
Later journalists have taken another look at the match, wondering if claims of "non-aggression" are exaggerated. In The Irish Times, Rob Smyth wrote that "The 10 minutes after Hrubesch's goal would even be described as exhilarating in some cultures, with Wolfgang Dremmler forcing a fine save from Friedrich Koncilia (the second and final shot on target in the match) and Paul Breitner missing two good chances. The game slows down towards half-time, principally because the hitherto dominant Germany start to play on the counterattack. Hrubesch would have had a clear shooting chance in the 57th minute had he not hopelessly miscontrolled Felix Magath's expert chip. As late as the 77th minute, when the game was losing what edge it had, Bernd Krauss broke into the box and forced a desperate clearance from Hans-Peter Briegel. A goal then would have put West Germany out."