Battle of Santiago

As the Battle of Santiago (it. Battaglia di Santiago, sp. Batalla de Santiago) is a preliminary round game at the soccer World Cup in Chile in 1962 called, which was held on 2 June 1962 in the capital Santiago de Chile among the teams in Chile and Italy. It was registered at a World Cup in history as one of the most brutal games.

Starting position

Both teams played the preliminary round in Group B, along with Switzerland and Germany. Chile was able to win against Switzerland 3-1, the first group game four days earlier, while Italy and Germany a day later 0-0 parted. With a win, the Italians would pass in the table to the host and can preserve the chance of the quarter-finals, while Chileans would have already qualified ahead of schedule with a victory.

Two years earlier, Chile was hit by the largest earthquake ever measured. Two Italian journalists, Antonio Ghirelli and Corrado Pizzinelli, sparked the ire of the Chilean population, as they described the country as " poverty-stricken dump full of lighter girls," just before she left the country even before the tournament starts. Chilean newspapers twisted and distorted Italian products to whip up the anti- Italian sentiment even more. Shortly before the game was an Argentine journalist who has been held for an Italian, beaten up in a bar in Santiago.

Game History

A crowd of over 66,000, the English referee Ken Aston at whistled the play in the Chilean National Stadium. After twelve seconds was the first challenge. 8 minutes into the Aston sent the Italian Giorgio Ferrini after a foul on Honorino Landa from the square. Ferrini refused to leave the pitch and was taken away screaming and kicking around Chilean police. The game could be continued only after eight minutes break.

Towards the end of the first half, Chile's midfielder Leonel Sánchez retaliated with Mario David for a series of kicks, he struck down by the Italians. When David realized that the referee would not do anything, he joined Sánchez to the neck and was sent off in the 41st minute of the field.

The brutality grew more and more. Italy striker Humberto Maschio suffered a nasal bone fracture, caused by Sanchez with a left hook. Again and again it came to Unsportsmanlike behavior. It was spat, kicked, and there were several scuffles. The referee had to ask again and again between the contending players, twice more he needed the support of the police.

" I was not reffing a football match, I was acting as umpire in military maneuvers at. "

" I 've caught no football game, I was acting as an arbitrator in military maneuvers. "

Two late goals by Jaime Ramírez in the 73rd minute and Jorge Toro in the 87th minute decided the game in favor of Chile, which thus qualified for the quarter-finals.

Effects of the game

Since the German team to Switzerland 2-1 and then beat Chile 2-0, it was clear even before the last game that Italy could reach no more the first two places in the table, and was thus eliminated from the tournament. The 3-0 victory over Switzerland Italy only secured third place in Group B.

Since many skillful players from the square did not understand the decision of the arbitrator or pretended not to understand it, and also the spectators warnings and references not always recognized, suggested Aston, for introducing visible signs in the form of yellow and red cards. For the first time the cards came in the Football World Cup 1970 in Mexico used.



  • Football game
  • Football in Chile
  • Football in Italy
  • Santiago de Chile
  • Football World Cup 1962