1986 Football World Cup, Mexico

The 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico was the thirteenth edition of the Soccer World Cup, which took place in Mexico, between May 31 and June 29, 1986. Mexico became the first country to celebrate twice a year. World Cup, when the Executive Committee of FIFA, after a meeting in Stockholm, Sweden in May 1983, decided to replace the selected venue in 1974, Colombia, which had to decline in November 1982 due to the impossibility of complying with the requirements that FIFA demanded to celebrate the event.

There were 24 teams that went to the tournament and 52 games held, as in the previous World Cup, Spain 1982. The mascot of the World Cup was Pique and the official ball was the Adidas Azteca Mexico, this ball was the first made of synthetic materials, which increased impermeability and durability, providing better performance in hard playgrounds, with high humidity and at high altitudes.

In two matches of the quarterfinals of the tournament, remarkable and unprecedented events took place in football: in the Argentina – England match, Diego Armando Maradona converted two of his most famous goals, one that he managed to touch the ball with the hand that the The referee took it for granted and that the same player accepted later when affirming that it had been The hand of God; minutes after Maradona sailed from half court mocking any opponent crossed his path thus achieving the best goal of the world and one of the best in the history of football, known as the Goal of the Century; For his part in the Brazil-France match, Bruno Bellone missed a penalty by hitting the post, but when the ball bounced over the body of goalkeeper Carlos Gallo he entered the goal, conceding the goal. The Brazilians protested for the goal to be canceled but the Romanian referee Ioan Igna was confirmed in his decision, which was later endorsed by the International Board.

As another anecdotal fact, in this tournament also two notable expulsions happened: Cayetano Re was the first technical director in the history of the World Cups to be expelled from the bench of his team in a match, due to excessive claims against the Bulgarian referee Bogdan Dotchev. While the Uruguayan player José Batista, had the dishonor of having suffered the fastest expulsion in the history of the World Cups, receiving a red card when he only took 56 seconds of his team’s game against Scotland.

In June 1974, FIFA designated Colombia as the venue for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. However, over time, the possibility that the country could actually host the event was fading. A series of requirements established by the FIFA Executive Committee could not be met by the Organizing Committee:

12 stadiums with a minimum capacity of 40,000 people for the first phase.

4 stadiums with a minimum capacity of 60,000 people for the second phase.

2 stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 people for the inaugural and final matches.

The installation of a communication tower in Bogotá.

Freezing of hotel rates in national currency for members of FIFA as of January 1, 1986, among others.

The issuance of a decree that legalizes the free circulation of international currencies in the country.

A robust fleet of limousines available to the directors of the entity.

A railway network that allowed to communicate to all the venues.

Airports with capacity for the landing of jet planes in all the venues.

A network of roads that allowed the easy movement of the fans.

The Colombian government considered these requirements to be excessive and impossible to comply with, and finally, on October 25, 1982, Colombian President Belisario Betancurt publicly announced the cancellation of the organization of the event. The resignation of Colombia to the headquarters of the 1986 World Cup was confirmed by FIFA on November 5, 1982. Four candidates were chosen for the election of the new headquarters: Canada, Brazil, the United States and Mexico, although Brazil withdrew Shortly before the designation, Canada did not have enough football facilities, while the United States, which did not have much support either, preferred to organize a better candidacy for the 1994 Soccer World Cup from which it was elected and these countries inclined their support to the candidacy mexican

Finally, on May 20, 1983, FIFA unanimously voted for Mexico, which had already hosted the 1970 World Cup and thus maintained the tactics of rotation of venues between Europe and Latin America.

The realization of the tournament in this country was in danger due to the earthquake aroused mainly in Mexico City and neighboring states on the morning of September 19, 1985, eight months after the start date of the fair, being the worst happened to date. in the history of Mexico producing more than 10,000 deaths and demanding an investment of 2,000 million dollars for reconstruction, so the organizing committee had planned the suspension of the tournament. However, despite the disastrous consequences caused by the earthquake, the stadiums designated as scenarios for the matches as well as the different football infrastructures were not affected, so it was decided to continue with the organization of the event.

For this edition, the format of the tournament changed again. The second round would no longer be a group phase, as it had been since 1974, but would return to the old direct elimination system, but this time the round of 16 would be added due to the increase of the participating teams that took place in the previous World Cup. The four best third parties would also qualify for this elimination stage, along with the first and second of each group, a method that was maintained until the 1994 World Cup.

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