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1978 World Champions...The Netherlands?


villaajax
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I'm surprised I've only seen this now but now after many years, the truth is officially coming out.

What the Dutch national football team has never achieved on the field of play could now succeed through a criminal procedure: winning the World Cup. But first football's world governing body FIFA must decide that opponents Argentina had no right to a place in the finals in 1978. And consequently, no right to win the World Cup, which they did at the expense of the Dutch.

Argentina, the host nation, reached the 1978 final following a 6-0 victory over Peru. Argentina at the time was under a dictatorship, and won the final against the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time. It was the second loss of a World Cup final in succession for the Dutch. And they were so close to victory when a shot from Rob Rensenbrink hit the post a few minutes before the end of normal time. The score was 1-1 at the time.

Conspiracy theory

In 1978, only 16 countries participated in the finals (there are now 32) and a pool system was used for a place in the final. Argentina had to win the last group match against Peru by at least four clear goals to go through and knock out rivals and favourites Brazil.

Apart from the result, the time of the match was also significant: Argentina took to the field later in the day than Brazil and thus already knew exactly how many goals had to be scored. So all the ingredients are in place for a conspiracy theory, but how can you prove it?

A big step in that direction was recently taken by former Peruvian Senator Genaro Ledesma. He stated under oath that the 6-0 victory of Argentina over Peru was the result of a political bargain between the dictators of the two countries. The 80-year-old Ledesma told his story during the trial of former Peruvian army chief Francisco Morales Bermúdez in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires.

Dissidents

Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant writes: "According to Ledesma, at the time Bermúdez asked his fellow dictator Jorge Videla if Argentina would capture Ledesma and twelve other dissidents. This would happen under the infamous Plan Condor, in which Latin American dictators helped each other's dissidents to 'disappear' in the 1970s. In exchange, Peru would lose the match against Argentina by a large score, which would mean Argentina reaching the final.

South American media are reporting that FIFA is considering an investigation into the claim, the result of which could cost Argentina the World Cup in favour of the Dutch.

Distance

Members of the 1978 Argentine national squad distanced themselves this week from the way the World Cup was decided. Former striker Leopoldo Luque is quoted in AD as saying "With what I know now, I can't say I'm proud of our victory. But most of us didn't realize at the time what was going on. We just played football."

Justice?

It's uncertain whether there actually will be a FIFA investigation. The world football union hasn't made a decision yet. There's also the question of whether the Dutch would be happy to be declared winners in this way. Justice is a great thing, but it's much better to win on the field of play rather than on paper.

Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide

In an ideal World, FIFA would live up to their motto "For the good of the game" and investigate this but as well all know they are just a corrupt bunch who are only interested in lining their pockets and would probably rather not upset Argentina.

But there is a slim chance that the Netherlands could rightfully be declared the 1978 World Champions due to match fixing.

Justice at last?...

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I'm not sure that a former Peruvian senator stating it was a political bargain will make much difference, it was blindingly obvious at the time that that match was a sham. And we all know FIFA love a good bit of corruption themselves anyway.

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As Brazil were the ones to suffer, not the Netherlands, they should be given a chance. I suggest a game between the brazilian team and the dutch team from that world cup to decide the real winners. But that too would be flawed. We need the semi finalists that Argentina beat to go to the final. And were there a quarter final too? Must've been. Bring them too and make it a proper tournament. The winner of the tournament gets to play against Holland in a final to decide who's the true world champion. And Cruyff can't be in the dutch team as he refused to go in 1978.

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Yeah, why is it that the Dutch "should have won"

In fact all you can say is Brazil should have been in the final.

Who's to say they wouldn't have beaten the Dutch? They were pretty bloody good after all!

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See, all those people from other countries (especially Ireland until the Thierry Henry handball) so said we were just bitter for claiming Argentina were cheating bastards of the highest order were wrong! :flag:

But seriously, the statute of limitations has long since passed. Do we say England would have won in 86 if it wasnt for Diego cheating?

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Nothing will come of this, of course but I found this bit interesting. One of their players essentially saying he now knows the fix was in but didn't at the time. However, he is also saying some did know at the time.

Members of the 1978 Argentine national squad distanced themselves this week from the way the World Cup was decided. Former striker Leopoldo Luque is quoted in AD as saying "With what I know now, I can't say I'm proud of our victory. But most of us didn't realize at the time what was going on. We just played football.

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I can think of many world cups where there is a scandal involving the winner. As well as the obvious ones involving Argentina in 86 and 78. There was 98 where apparently the Brazilian players were part of a corruption scandal where they were told to lose against France in the 98 final. There was also the 1990 world cup final referee, who was alledgedly told to favour Germany in the final, because FIFA did not want Argentina to win the 1990 world cup.

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1978 was a long time ago. most people alive then are not with us now. We have to accept that Argentina won the tournament.

true, Germans might even claim a replay for 66 ;)

Justice was done after they hanballed themselves into extra time in the first place.

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If we're talking about fishy world cup champions, then Brazil 1958 must take the prize as that tournament didn't even take place.

After the end of the film it was revealed that it was a hoax. Despite this, many people still believed in it, as the hoax was not revealed in the film itself. It took several days until the newspapers actually announced it was all made up by the producers.

Shows that people will believe anything if it's presented in such a way

(eg the moon landing conspiracy, which is bollocks)

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If we're talking about fishy world cup champions, then Brazil 1958 must take the prize as that tournament didn't even take place.

After the end of the film it was revealed that it was a hoax. Despite this, many people still believed in it, as the hoax was not revealed in the film itself. It took several days until the newspapers actually announced it was all made up by the producers.

Shows that people will believe anything if it's presented in such a way

(eg the moon landing conspiracy, which is bollocks)

Didn't read the wiki article through that closely, but that was exactly what the producers wanted to prove.

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