Havelange: There was manipulation in 1966 and 1974 World Cup

Other News Materials 27 June 2008 01:01 (UTC +04:00)

The World Cups held in England in 1966 and in Germany in 1974 were manipulated to favour the hosts, said former FIFA president Joao Havelange, the dpa reported.

In an exclusive interview published by the Brazilian daily Folha de Sao Paulo Thursday, Havelange added that, contrary to popular belief, there was no manipulation to favour Argentina in the 1978 World Cup.

" Argentina had a good team, they beat the Netherlands," said the Brazilian Havelange, 92.

There is widespread suspicion that manipulation was used to let Argentina defeat Peru 6-0 en route to the World Cup title on home ground, at a time when Argentina lived under a dictatorship.

Accoding to Havelange, who headed FIFA 1974-1998, Peru was playing its third World Cup with a team in which "all the players were older than 30."

"Their physical efficiency was non-existent," said Havelange.

However, the situation was different in England and Germany, according to the elderly Brazilian, who thinks there was manipulation to the detriment of Brazil.

"In 1974 I was elected (FIFA president). It was too much to be elected and win the World Cup," he noted.

Havelange made a confusing cocktail including politics, economics and football to justify his suspicions over Brazil's 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands in the 1974 World Cup.

"The Netherlands had problems with oil, they had no oil because (the price) had risen a lot and they were riding bicycles. I will never forget it. It was (then US secretary of state Henry) Kissinger who had gone there to settle that. He arrived at the stadium to watch Brazil-Netherlands, and (FIFA president) Stanley Rous designated (referee Kurt) Tschenscher, from Germany, who was 50 at the time," he said.

"(Tschenscher) harmed me. I lost 2-0. They suspended my centre- back (Luis Pereira, sent off against the Netherlands) for the game against Poland for third place," Havelange added.

Curiously, Havelange used the first person singular when referring to the incident.

In relation to England 1966, he is convinced that referees designated for Brazil's games tried to harm Brazil and to favour the hosts and Germany, who played the final.

"Brail had virtually the same team (that won the World Cup) in 1962. Who was FIFA president? Sir Stanley Rous, an Englishman. Where was the Cup played? In England," he noted.

"In my three games, against Portugal, Hungary and Bulgaria, there were three referees and six assistants. Seven were English and two were German. Why do you think that happened? To destroy my team. And they destroyed it. Pele left injured," Havelange said.

"What was the final? England-Germany. Why were there only German and English referees in my games. The same happened in 1974, in Germany. Do you not think that is strange? And I ask you, did England ever become a champion again, or did it win anything? No. That's where we are at," Havelange concluded.