The 1978 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match played to determine the winner of the 1978 FIFA World Cup. The match was contested by hosts Argentina and the Netherlands. The match was won by the Argentines in extra time by a score of 3–1. Mario Kempes, who finished as the tournament's top scorer, was named the man of the match. The Netherlands lost their second World Cup final in a row, both times to the host nation, after losing to West Germany in 1974.
The start of the final was mired in some controversy, as the Dutch accused the Argentines of using stalling tactics to delay the match, that allowed tension to build in front of a hostile Buenos Aires crowd. In the first instance, the host team came out five minutes later after the audience was whipped into a frenzy. The Argentines also questioned the legality of a plaster cast on René van de Kerkhof's wrist, despite him having worn it in earlier games without objections which caused the Dutch to threaten to walk off the pitch. Ending up the Italian referee Sergio Gonella upheld the complaints and forced van de Kerkhof to apply extra bandage. The Netherlands refused to attend the post-match ceremonies after the match ended.
The Italian referee Sergio Gonella failed to control the match, and most of his decisions in 50-50 situations favored the Argentines. His appointment was also controversial, as Netherlands had defeated his country Italy in the previous match which decided which team would advance to the final.
Western and European commentators noted that Argentina's football World Cup win was massive propaganda coup for Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla and other junta chiefs, that set back international efforts to expose the growing number of murdered victims.