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Disgrace of Gijón

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West Germany v Austria
Disgrace of Gijón (Schande von Gijón)
Scandal of Gijón (فضيحة خيخون)
The Shameful Match (le Match de la honte)
El Molinón, the venue for the match
Event1982 FIFA World Cup
Both teams advance to second round
Algeria eliminated from 1982 FIFA World Cup on goal difference
Date25 June 1982; 41 years ago (1982-06-25)
VenueEl Molinón, Gijón
RefereeBob Valentine (Scotland)

The Disgrace of Gijón (Spanish: Desgracia de Gijón) was a 1982 FIFA World Cup football match played between West Germany and Austria at the El Molinón stadium in Gijón, Spain, on 25 June 1982. The match was the sixth and last game of the first-round Group 2, with the fifth game have concluded the previous day.

Due to the tiebreaker rules in the group stage, a West German win by one or two goals would ensure that both Austria and West Germany advanced to the next round. West Germany scored the only goal in the first 10 minutes of the match, which progressively deteriorated to a virtual standstill in the second half.[1] Despite widespread condemnation and a formal complaint lodged by Algeria – who was consequently eliminated – FIFA ruled that neither team had broken any rules. Austrian player Reinhold Hintermaier later admitted the match was fixed.[2]

Following this match, along with similar matches at the previous World Cup in Argentina, FIFA subsequently revised the group system for future tournaments so that the final two games in each group would be played simultaneously.[3] This change made it highly impractical for teams to engage in match-fixing, since they would not know what result was required ahead of time.

In German, the match is known as Nichtangriffspakt von Gijón (lit. "Non-aggression pact of Gijón") or Schande von Gijón (lit. "Disgrace of Gijón"),[1] while in Algeria it is called فضيحة خيخون (faḍīḥat Khīkhūn, "Scandal of Gijón"), and in French: le Match de la honte (lit. "The Shameful Match")); it is also satirically referred to as the Anschluss (a reference to the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938).[4]


  • Note: 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, first tie-breaker is goal difference.
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Austria 2 2 0 0 3 0 +3 4 One match left
2  Algeria 3 2 0 1 5 5 0 4 Undecided (Matches finished)
3  West Germany 2 1 0 1 5 3 +2 2 One match left
4  Chile 3 0 0 3 3 8 −5 0 Eliminated
Updated to match(es) played on 24 June 1982. Source: FIFA

Algeria began their campaign by recording a surprising 2–1 win over West Germany on the opening day, described as the "greatest World Cup upset since North Korea beat Italy in 1966",[5] and as "one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history".[6] Algeria became the first African or Arab team to defeat a European team at the FIFA World Cup. They then went on to lose 0–2 to Austria before beating Chile 3–2 in their final match. Algeria's victory over Chile made them the first ever African or Arab team to win twice at a World Cup.[6]

As Algeria played that final match the day before West Germany met Austria, the two European teams knew what result they needed in order to qualify for the next round. Any West German win by one or two goals would see both West Germany and Austria qualify based on goal differential tiebreaker. A West German victory by four goals or more would see West Germany and Algeria qualify. A West German win by exactly three goals would send Austria and Algeria to the next tiebreaker (goals scored), where Austria would need to score at least two goals in defeat to advance in this scenario. West Germany would be eliminated with a loss or draw.



After ten minutes of furious attack, West Germany succeeded in scoring through a goal by Horst Hrubesch after a cross from the left. After the goal was scored, the team in possession of the ball often passed between themselves in their own half until an opposition player came into the vicinity of the ball, then the ball was passed back to the goalkeeper. Isolated long balls were played into the opposition's half, with little consequence. There were few tackles, and both sets of players flamboyantly missed with apparently no attempt at accuracy whenever they shot on goal. The only Austrian player who seemed to make any effort at livening the game up was Walter Schachner, though he had little success, while one of the few serious attempts on net was made by Wolfgang Dremmler of West Germany.[1]

This performance was widely deplored by all observers. West German ARD commentator Eberhard Stanjek at one point refused to commentate on the game any longer. Austrian commentator Robert Seeger bemoaned the spectacle, and asked viewers to turn off their television sets. George Vecsey, a New York Times journalist, stated that the teams "seemed to work in concert", though added that proving such would be impossible.[5] El Comercio, the local newspaper, printed the match report in its crime section.[7]

Likewise, many spectators were not impressed and voiced their disgust with the players. Chants of "¡Fuera, fuera!" ("Out, out!"), "¡Argelia, Argelia!" ("Algeria, Algeria!"), and "¡Que se besen, que se besen!" ("Let them kiss, let them kiss!", which is commonly used at weddings) were shouted by the Spanish crowd,[8] while angry Algerian supporters waved banknotes at the players. The match was criticized even by the West German and Austrian fans who had hoped for a hot rematch of the 1978 World Cup match, the so-called "Miracle of Córdoba", in which Austria had beaten West Germany; one West German fan burned the national flag in protest.[9][10]


West Germany 1–0 Austria
Hrubesch 10' Report
Attendance: 41,000
West Germany
GK 1 Toni Schumacher
SW 15 Uli Stielike
RB 20 Manfred Kaltz
CB 4 Karlheinz Förster
LB 2 Hans-Peter Briegel
CM 3 Paul Breitner
CM 6 Wolfgang Dremmler
CM 14 Felix Magath
RF 11 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge downward-facing red arrow 66'
CF 9 Horst Hrubesch downward-facing red arrow 69'
LF 7 Pierre Littbarski
GK 22 Eike Immel
DF 5 Bernd Förster
MF 18 Lothar Matthäus upward-facing green arrow 66'
FW 8 Klaus Fischer upward-facing green arrow 69'
FW 13 Uwe Reinders
Jupp Derwall
GK 1 Friedrich Koncilia
DF 2 Bernd Krauss
DF 3 Erich Obermayer
DF 4 Josef Degeorgi
DF 5 Bruno Pezzey
MF 6 Roland Hattenberger
FW 7 Walter Schachner Yellow card 32'
MF 8 Herbert Prohaska
FW 9 Hans Krankl
MF 10 Reinhold Hintermaier Yellow card 32'
DF 19 Heribert Weber
GK 22 Klaus Lindenberger
DF 12 Anton Pichler
DF 13 Max Hagmayr
MF 14 Ernst Baumeister
FW 20 Kurt Welzl
Felix Latzke and Georg Schmidt


Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  West Germany 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 4 Advance to second round
2  Austria 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 4
3  Algeria 3 2 0 1 5 5 0 4
4  Chile 3 0 0 3 3 8 −5 0
Source: FIFA

With West Germany's 1–0 victory, they joined Austria and Algeria with four points in three matches. The teams were separated by goal difference, with West Germany and Austria progressing to the next round of the tournament at the expense of Algeria. The match-fixing saw Austria give up their opportunity to be first in the group (by winning or drawing the match) in exchange for a sure opportunity to advance. The bargaining positions of the two teams were affected by West Germany being in danger of elimination if they failed to win, but also being the better team.[11] By coming second in the group, Austria's second-stage group was France and Northern Ireland. West Germany's opponents were hosts Spain and England who had previously beaten France. Also, for three of the starting players (Horst Hrubesch for West Germany, Josef Degeorgi and Roland Hattenberger for Austria), an additional incentive to avoid aggressive play was that they had been previously booked in their respective teams' first two games. Under the rules then in force, an additional yellow card for any of them in the final group match would have resulted in them serving an automatic one-match ban to start the second round.

After the match, the West German team went back to their hotel where they were met by furious spectators who threw eggs and other projectiles at them; the West Germans returned fire with water bombs.[12] German and Austrian television commentators were so appalled at the match that they urged viewers on live television to stop watching the match and watch something else. The Algerian football officials lodged an official protest. In addition, the president of the Algerian Football Federation opined that referee Bob Valentine should have intervened and his failure to do so was worthy of complaint.[13] However, FIFA considered that no rules were broken as a result of the match, and declined to take any action. Both teams denied any collusion during the match.[14] West Germany manager Jupp Derwall defended his team from the criticism, pointing out that Uli Stielike and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge were both unfit.[15] The West Germans made it to the final, where they lost to Italy 3–1. Austria fell at the next group stage, to the benefit of eventual fourth-place finishers France.

As a result of the game, from the World Cup 1986 onward, the final pair of group matches in World Cups always start simultaneously.[16]

Later journalists have taken another look at the match, wondering if claims of "non-aggression" are exaggerated. In The Irish Times, Rob Smyth wrote that "The 10 minutes after Hrubesch's goal would even be described as exhilarating in some cultures, with Wolfgang Dremmler forcing a fine save from Friedrich Koncilia (the second and final shot on target in the match) and Paul Breitner missing two good chances. The game slows down towards half-time, principally because the hitherto dominant Germany start to play on the counterattack. Hrubesch would have had a clear shooting chance in the 57th minute had he not hopelessly miscontrolled Felix Magath’s expert chip. As late as the 77th minute, when the game was losing what edge it had, Bernd Krauss broke into the box and forced a desperate clearance from Hans-Peter Briegel. A goal then would have put West Germany out."[17]

35 years after the World Cup in Spain, Reinhold Hintermaier acknowledged that although the outcome had not been decided in advance, the teams did decide to fix the game to eliminate Algeria. He stated, "It somehow took on a life of its own - everyone just thought that they wanted to get ahead".[2]

Similar cases in football[edit]

  • 1982 World Cup - Spain vs Northern Ireland In the aftermath of the Disgrace of Gijón during the 1982 World Cup, another suspicious incident occurred in the match between Northern Ireland and Spain on June 25, 1982. Similar to the controversial West Germany versus Austria game, both teams knew that a narrow victory for Northern Ireland would secure their advancement to the knockout stages. After Gerry Armstrong scored the decisive goal in the 47th minute, the game witnessed a significant drop in intensity, with neither side making substantial efforts to score, raising concerns about the competition's integrity and prompting calls for FIFA to reconsider World Cup rules to prevent collusion.
  • Thailand 3–2 Indonesia, where an Indonesian defender deliberately scored an own goal so his team did not have to face the host Vietnam in the semi-finals of the 1998 Tiger Cup.
  • AS Adema 149–0 SO l'Emyrne, where SO l'Emyrne players deliberately scored 149 own goals in protest of refereeing decisions that had gone against them in the previous match.
  • Barbados 4–2 Grenada, where a Barbadian defender deliberately scored an own goal so his team could win by two goals in extra-time, according to an unconventional golden goal rule that FIFA had implemented.
  • Coventry City 2–2 Bristol City, the final match for both sides in the 1977 English First Division. With five minutes remaining, players received news of a Sunderland defeat which meant a draw would save both Coventry and Bristol from relegation. Both sides stopped attempting to score for the final five minutes.
  • Perú 1-1 Colombia, where Colombian and Peruvian players accorded a draw which benefited both teams in the World Cup qualification. Colombia qualified directly, Perú defeated New Zealand in a play-off and Chile was eliminated, being the victim of this pact.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Smyth, Rob (25 February 2014). "No3: West Germany 1–0 Austria in 1982". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Münchrath, Manfred (5 June 2022). ""Schande von Gijon": Lasst uns das nach Hause schaukeln" ["Disgrace of Gijón": Let's Drive This Home]. kicker (in German). Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  3. ^ Booth, Lawrence; Smyth, Rob (11 August 2004). "What's the dodgiest game in football history?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ Spurling, Jon (2010). Death or Glory The Dark History of the World Cup. Vision Sports. p. 67. ISBN 978-1905326-80-8.
  5. ^ a b Vecsey, George (29 June 1982). "When West Germany and Austria danced a Vienna waltz". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 12. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  6. ^ a b Murray, Scott; Walker, Rowan (2008). "June 25 – West Germany 1–0 Austria: 'El Anchluss' (1982)". Day of the Match. Boxtree. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-7522-2678-1.
  7. ^ Honigstein, Raphael (29 June 2014). "Germany won't repeat 1982 mistakes". ESPNFC.com. ESPN Internet Ventures, LLC. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014. Original link location: http://www.espnfc.com/fifa-world-cup/4/blog/post/1922852/germany-wont-repeat-1982-mistakes
  8. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Estafa en el molinón". YouTube. 5 July 2007.
  9. ^ "World Cup Tales: The Shame Of Gijon, 1982". twohundredpercent.net. London. 9 May 2010. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  10. ^ Doyle, Paul (13 June 2010). "The day in 1982 when the world wept for Algeria". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  11. ^ Caruso, R (2007), The Economics of Match-Fixing (PDF)
  12. ^ "The Disgrace of Gijon: West Germany and Austria's match of shame at 1982 World Cup". The Athletic. 15 November 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  13. ^ "Cup game labeled as 'fix'". The Register-Guard. Eugene. 26 June 1982. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  14. ^ Molinaro, John (16 June 2008). "No agreement between Germany and Austria this time around". CBC Sports. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  15. ^ "German victory in World Cup stirs controversy". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press; United Press International. 26 June 1982. p. 10. Retrieved 24 July 2014.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "The Game that Changed the World Cup — Algeria". algeria.com. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  17. ^ "World Cup moments: 1982's 'Disgrace of Gijón'". The Irish Times.

External links[edit]