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48

48th Minute, France v Kuwait, 1982 World Cup Group Stage

Context

France went into the 1982 World Cup with their best side since the late 1950’s but they got off to the worst possible start when they fell behind to England after just 27 seconds. It didn’t get much better as the French suffered a 3-1 defeat. Their next match was against Kuwait which presented them with a good opportunity to get back on track.

Asian champions Kuwait had surprised many people in their opening match when they claimed a 1-1 draw against Czechoslovakia, who were considered one of the best sides in Europe at the time. France had no such problems and were two goals up at half-time.

The Goal

Didier Six beautifully controls with his chest and volleys home a superb Platini pass to put France 3-0 up…

What Happened Next?

Kuwait got a goal back with a quickly taken free kick before France added a controversial fourth. The Kuwait players stopped when they heard a whistle, but the whistle didn’t come from the referee, it came from the crowd. Alain Giresse took advantage of the static Kuwait defence to score. The Kuwaiti players protested to the referee and then the president of the Kuwait Football Association came down to the field and demanded the referee rule out the goal and in unprecedented scenes, the Russian referee bowed to the pressure that Sheikh Fahid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah would withdraw his players from the field.

Incredibly Kuwait had a goal ruled out a few minutes after the match restarted. France did add a fourth goal in the end and the match finished 4-1. Les Bleus went on to finish 4th after losing a controversial semi-final against West Germany. Kuwait never qualified for the World Cup again.

Extras

The controversial moment can be seen here…

 

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