SHOCKING: A goalkeeper was suspended for life for faking an injury
He injured himself to gain sporting advantage but failed
For the South American qualifiers for the 1990 World Cup, of the 10 CONMEBOL countries, only 9 teams played. All except Argentina, which was the previous champion. The 9 countries were divided into 3 groups with the aim of obtaining 2 direct places for Italy plus 1 playoff. In group 3 were Chile, Venezuela, and Brazil.
On the last date, Brazil and Chile were level on points, but Brazil had a better goal difference. The last game was going to be played at the legendary Maracaná stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Chile needed to win while Brazil needed a draw. After a goalless draw in the first half thanks to a brilliant performance by the Chilean goalkeeper Roberto Rojas, the Brazilian Careca scored a goal 4 minutes into the second half, a result that caused the elimination of the Chilean team.
In the 67th minute of the match, a flare is thrown from the stands of the stadium, which explodes 3 meters near the Chilean goalkeeper Rojas, who collapses immediately. All the players came to see how he was doing and when the smoke cleared, they found that the Chilean goalkeeper was bleeding on his face. Immediately, the Chilean players decided to leave the stadium, arguing lack of security. The referee ended the match.
The next day FIFA and CONMEBOL began the investigation of the incident. The sports authorities reviewed the recordings on television and discovered that the flare fell very close to the goalkeeper, but never hit him. In addition, some doctors treated the Chilean goalkeeper and saw that the wound showed no signs of a burn or traces of gunpowder. Thanks to all this and the photos of photographers, the authorities concluded that the Chilean goalkeeper had self-inflicted a cut. The objective was to simulate an injury with the flare and then FIFA would consider the game lost to Brazil. In this way, Chile would classify the world. But it was not like that. The lie was exposed and Chile was disqualified. Under pressure, Rojas confessed to cutting his own face with a razor blade hidden in his glove.
In the end, Chile lost the game and failed to qualify for the 1990 World Cup. But also, the Chilean team was excluded from playing in the qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup. Chilean goalkeeper Rojas was banned for life and never played an official football match again. Only in 2001, FIFA granted a pardon to the player, who was 44 years old.
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