World Cup 'disgrace' 40 years ago now the reason final group games are played at same time

However, shortly after the goal, it quickly became apparent that neither side were going to play any further part in a competitive match. Tackles were almost non-existent, play was pedestrian at best and the 41,000 spectators who paid to watch the farce let their frustrations known with jeers and protests throughout the match.

TV commentators were also unimpressed with one Austrian pundit telling viewers to turn off their screens and refused to speak for the final 30 minutes of the non-contest. The match ended 1-0 with Algeria left heartbroken and irate. Complaints were lodged by Algeria to FIFA after the match demanding both West Germany and Austria be suspended from the tournament.

The protests were to no avail as West Germany went on to reach the final, losing 3-1 to Italy. But the ‘Disgrace of Gijon’ did leave a lasting legacy on football with final group matches now played at the same time to avoid any similar situation arising.

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