List of 2006 FIFA World Cup controversies

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The 2006 FIFA World Cup generated various controversies, including onfield disputes, critiques of official decisions, and team salary issues. Most centered on specific refereeing decisions, which led many of the world's media to claim that the referees were spoiling the World Cup. Numerous World Cup records were also set by controversial calls, including Graham Poll's three-card error and Valentin Ivanov's record number of cards in a single match.

FIFA's "Fair Play" agreement also came under intense scrutiny during the tournament, particularly during the second-round match between Portugal and Netherlands.



Three yellow cards issued (Croatia vs. Australia, group stage)[edit]

The deciding game for the Group F runners-up place, Croatia vs. Australia, saw English referee Graham Poll mistakenly issue three yellow cards to Croatian Josip Šimunić before sending him off. Šimunić was shown a yellow card by Poll in the 61st minute for a foul on Australian Harry Kewell.[1] In the 90th minute, Poll held up a yellow card in front of Šimunić for a foul, but did not follow it with a red card, as is required upon a second yellow card.[2] In the 93rd minute, after Poll had blown the final whistle, Šimunić approached Poll angrily and gave him a push. Poll thus issued Šimunić with a 3rd yellow card and also showed him the red card.[3]

Questions were raised as to why Poll's assistants Phil Sharp and Glenn Turner, and fourth official Kevin Stott, had also failed to realise the error. Poll later denied any blame should be placed upon the other officials saying, "I was the referee, it was my error and the buck stops with me".[4] Poll reported that the officials had felt "disbelief" upon hearing of the error in the dressing room after the game. He and the other officials consequently reviewed the DVD of the game, and Poll realised that his "dream was over".[4]

Football Federation Australia chief executive John O'Neill later said that "Australia could have had grounds for a very strong appeal should Croatia have won the match".[5] Poll also explained the reason for his mistake by saying that "he incorrectly noted down the name of the Australia number three Craig Moore when booking Šimunić for the second time and failed to realise his error."[6] (Šimunić is Australian-born, hence speaks English with an Australian accent, probably causing the mistake).[citation needed]

FIFA Referees Committee President Angel Maria Villar Llona defended Poll but had to concede that an error had occurred. In a statement he remarked, "Thursday evening's 2–2 draw between Croatia and Australia in Stuttgart saw referee Graham Poll make an error".[6] As a result of his error, Poll and his assistants did not progress to the second stage of the tournament. Despite encouragement from FIFA president Sepp Blatter, and chief executives of the Football Association and Premier League, Poll has retired from refereeing international tournaments. Poll explained his decision to retire was a result of the "pain and agony" and "sleepless nights" that resulted from his mistake and the fear of it happening again.[4]

Disputed decisions[edit]

Argentina vs. Côte d'Ivoire (Group stage)[edit]

Argentina was awarded a corner kick when one goal ahead in their game against Côte d'Ivoire. The kick, taken by Juan Román Riquelme, found Argentine defender, Roberto Ayala, who headed it towards goal. It was diverted by goalkeeper Jean-Jacques Tizié's hands and bounced off the right goalpost before moving at least partially into the goal. Tizié fumbled the ball before returning it back into play, sparking protests from the Argentine players to Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere.[7]

De Bleeckere looked to his assistant for help in the decision, but no confirmation could be made. TV replays reached no verdict either as to whether it was a goal.[8] Ayala was furious at referee Bleeckere for failing to award the goal and Argentine striker, Hernán Crespo later said, "It would have been a lot easier if that had counted."[9]

Australia vs. Japan (Group stage)[edit]

In the first-round game of Australia versus Japan, Egyptian referee Essam Abd El Fatah awarded a 26th-minute goal by Shunsuke Nakamura to the Japanese despite a protest from Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.[10] Schwarzer appeared to have been impeded upon by Japanese forward Atsushi Yanagisawa as he had come forward to punch the ball clear.[11] Japanese striker Naohiro Takahara then collided with Schwarzer, leaving him unable to prevent the ball rolling into the goal.[12]

Schwarzer told reporters later that El Fatah had apologised to him for his mistake and had told Australian captain Mark Viduka that he was grateful "that God was on his side because the result went [Australia's] way in the end."[13] Viduka told reporters "it was obvious that he made a mistake but everybody makes a mistake."[13] Abdul-Fatah denied issuing an apology however, and said that "FIFA’s refereeing committee... agreed unanimously that Japan’s goal against Australia was correct," and would have awarded a penalty against Australia had the ball not gone in, as Takahara was pushed by Craig Moore into Schwarzer.[14]

Australian coach Guus Hiddink chose to "slightly, but not totally, apologise" for an incident off-field where he pushed an official off-balance in a scramble to see the television replay of the foul. Hiddink said he believed it was an obvious foul, but also that Schwarzer "can defend himself even more" against such incidents.[12]

FIFA communications director Markus Siegler told the press later that a penalty should have been awarded to Japan for a foul on Japanese midfielder Yūichi Komano by Tim Cahill. Siegler said "it was a clear mistake of the referee."[15] Had a yellow card been shown to Cahill, who scored the deciding goal for Australia minutes later, he would have been sent off, with the score at 1–1.[16] The Japanese coach Zico expressed frustration at FIFA's comments, saying that El Fatah had apologised for the mistake to the Australians but had not apologised for the error which FIFA admitted to.[17] Japan Football Association filed an official complaint against the Egyptian referee, who was sent home along with English referee Graham Poll.[18]

England vs. Trinidad and Tobago (Group stage)[edit]

Peter Crouch pulled Trinidad and Tobago defender Brent Sancho's dreadlocks while scoring the first goal.[19]

France vs. Korea Republic (Group stage)[edit]

In the 31st minute of the game between France and Korea Republic, the French midfielder Patrick Vieira had a header at goal which appeared to be saved by Korean goalkeeper Lee Woon-Jae from behind the goal line. Mexican referee Benito Archundia and his linesmen did not believe the ball had passed the line, and no goal was awarded.[20] The game resulted in a last minute 1–1 draw, shocking the French. French coach Raymond Domenech believed that France "scored a second time, but the referee did not recognize that."[21] Television replays showed that the goal should have been awarded.[22] French player Thierry Henry claimed the team was "really upset" when they saw the ball had passed the goal-line as "if he (the referee) had given us the valid goal, that would not have offered the Koreans the opportunity to come back into the match."[23] However, it should also be noted that the corner kick leading to the header should have been a goal kick, as the ball had gone out of bounds off a French player.[citation needed] In addition, there appeared to be a whistle on the play for a foul on France, which would have negated the goal anyway.

The controversy revived questions over the possibility of goal-line technology use at the World Cup. A FIFA spokesperson, Markus Siegler, ruled out the short term likelihood saying that "its introduction depends on a system being developed that is 100 percent reliable".[24] French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez voiced opposition to video replays during a game as "it's a shame to stop the play."[25] Barthez said that he'd like to see more referees with "one in each half, and one behind each goal."[25]

Togo vs. Switzerland (Group stage)[edit]

Near the end of the first half, Paraguayan referee Carlos Amarilla assumed that Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor had taken a dive in the penalty area, whereas most replays implied his heels had been clipped by Patrick Muller. The website Sport Network discusses the incident as follows: "Referee Carlos Amarilla caused controversy in the thirty-fifth minute when he somehow failed to give a penalty after Adebayor was hacked down by Patrick Muller. The Arsenal man had cut inside and seemed ready to unleash a shot at the Swiss goal, until Muller's trailing leg took Adebayor down."[26]

Korea Republic vs. Switzerland (Group stage)[edit]

Referee Horacio Elizondo allowed Alexander Frei's 77th-minute second goal for the Swiss even though one of the assistant referees had flagged for offside.

Elizondo waved for play to continue after a cross from Xavier Margairaz ball was deflected into Frei's path by a South Korean defender and, although the lineman flagged for offside, the Argentine official overruled the decision and allowed the Swiss goal to stand. The South Korean players and head coach, Dick Advocaat protested, but referee Elizondo ignored their protest, and gave a yellow card to South Korean player Choi Jin-cheul. Replay later showed that Elizondo had made the correct decision, as Frei had been onside when Margairaz had played the ball.[27]

Ghana vs. United States (Group stage)[edit]

In the last moments of the first half, German referee Markus Merk awarded a penalty kick to Ghana, which led to Ghana's winning goal and qualification to the Second round, and to the elimination of the United States from the tournament. The British newspaper Financial Times described the incident as follows: "The match turned on the worst of refereeing decisions. Germany's Markus Merk was standing in a perfect position when USA defender Oguchi Onyewu won a header against the fabulously monikered Razak Pimpong. But inexplicably Merk blew for a penalty because of a non-existent push."[28] The BBC agreed with this view in its match report: "Merk added one more twist to the first half, with a controversial penalty award. He penalised Onyewu, who appeared to win a clean header as Pimpong collapsed dramatically".[29]

Croatia vs. Australia (Group stage)[edit]

The game between Australia and Croatia to decide the Group F qualifiers saw a number of controversial decisions made by English referee, Graham Poll. It was during this game that Poll made his 3-yellow card blunder (see above). In the 7th minute, as Australian captain Mark Viduka approached the goal, attempting to score, Croatian Josip Šimunić wrestled him away from the ball.[30] The Australians appealed for a penalty, however Poll ruled that there was no foul.[31] In the 75th minute Croatian defender, Stjepan Tomas made a handball which mirrored his penalised 38th minute error, however it was not sighted by the referee and a corner rather than a penalty was awarded.[32][33] To add to the game's controversy, the 79th-minute goal by Australian striker Harry Kewell appeared to have scored whilst in an offside position.[34] In addition, an apparent goal to Australia in the last second of the match was not allowed due to the referee accidentally delayed blowing the full-time whilst fumbling for his whistle, which allowed play to continue.

Ukraine vs. Tunisia (Group stage)[edit]

Tunisia players and supporters claim that the Paraguayan referee Carlos Amarilla failed to award Tunisia a penalty kick in the second half and then mistakenly awarded one to Ukraine, which when converted by Andriy Shevchenko resulted in the 1–0 win and qualification by Ukraine to the second round. At the time Tunisia was playing with 10 men since Ziad Jaziri was sent off for his second yellow card in the last minute of the first half. The German magazine Spiegel Online described the turn of events this way: "Tunisia went close on 65 minutes after Namouchi was hacked down on the edge of the box. Ayari's left footed free kick deflected off Voronin in the Ukrainian wall and crept just over the bar. Replays suggested the ball hit Voronin's elbow and Tunisia could feel aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty. Then almost immediately the action switched to the other end when Shevchenko stumbled into the penalty area only to be brought down by Haggui. This time replays suggested Shevchenko fell over his own feet but Amarilla pointed to the spot and Shevchenko made no mistake with the penalty kick. It was tough luck for the Tunisians with two dodgy decisions costing the team badly and with only ten men left on the field the game looked beyond them."[35]

Portugal vs. Netherlands (Second round)[edit]

Referee Valentin Ivanov set a new record for the number of red cards issued in a World Cup match with four, and tied the record for yellow cards with 16.[36] FIFA president Sepp Blatter said of Ivanov, "I consider that today the referee was not at the same level as the participants, the players. There could have been a yellow card for the referee," although he later recanted, saying, "I regret what I said about his actions in the match between Portugal and the Netherlands."[37] The managers also blamed each other for not playing fairly; Portugal's Luiz Felipe Scolari said, "FIFA talks about fair play. There was no fair play,"[citation needed] while the Netherlands' Marco van Basten responded, "If you talk about fair play, you should watch yourself first... [Portugal was] a bit more experienced with all these tricks and all this time wasting."[36]

Ivanov criticized both teams, reportedly saying, "They are known for time wasting and hitting from behind. I was unpleasantly surprised by seeing such things from the Dutch. More so, they were the instigators."[38]

In the 7th minute, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo left the match with an injury after being tackled in the thigh by Khalid Boulahrouz. International Herald Tribune writer Rob Hughes wrote that he had not seen "a more cynical and brutal attempt to kick a player out of a match than what [Boulahrouz] did to [Ronaldo]," and that he should have been red carded on two occasions, but only received a yellow card.[38] Boulahrouz was sent off in the 63rd minute after receiving his second yellow card for an elbow to Luís Figo's face.

In the 60th minute, Figo received a yellow card despite head-butting Dutchman Mark van Bommel, usually a red card offence, as stated by Law 12 of "The Laws of Football" – "A player shall be sent off if he/she is guilty of violent conduct." Figo did not receive further sanctions and was cleared to play in the subsequent quarter-final match against England as he had been shown the yellow card during the match. Van Bommel said of the decision, "Figo head butted me and that is not a yellow card. I blame the referee, it was a clear red card."[39]

Italy vs. Australia (Second round)[edit]

In the 50th minute, Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo showed Italy's Marco Materazzi a straight red card for a challenge on Australia's Marco Bresciano. The replays show Materazzi deliberately foul Bresciano outside of the box, denying him an opportunity to score; although Gianluca Zambrotta could recover. This forced Italy to play with ten men for most of the second half.[40]

Furthermore, the referee awarded a penalty kick for Italy in the final seconds of injury time, after Australia's Lucas Neill challenged Fabio Grosso, causing Grosso to stumble and go to ground.[41] With the score 0–0 and Italy playing with ten men, the penalty resulted in a win by Italy when converted by Francesco Totti, advancing Italy to the quarter-finals.[41] In 2010, Grosso, according to an Australian sports site, said that he didn't stay on his feet because he was exhausted and "didn’t have the strength to go forward", he said he "felt contact, so I went down" and "maybe I accentuated it a little bit", but insisted that after reviewing the replay that Neill did commit a foul.[42]

Brazil vs. Ghana (Second round)[edit]

Brazil striker Adriano put the ball in the net in the 46th minute, but was in an offside position. However, the referee's assistant kept his flag down, and Slovak referee Ľuboš Micheľ, awarded the goal. The CBC described it like so: "Brazil... scored the next goal, albeit with a fair bit of controversy. Adriano scored on a breakaway in first-half injury time, using his left thigh to knock in a pass from the right wing from captain Cafu. However, replays showed Adriano was in an offside position when he touched the ball into the net."[43][44]

Spain vs. France (Second round)[edit]

At the 83rd minute, with the score at 1–1, referee Roberto Rosetti called a foul against Spain's Carles Puyol. France's Thierry Henry went down holding his face, although Puyol appeared to hit him in the chest. Patrick Vieira scored from the resulting free kick and France won the match 3–1. "For me it wasn't a foul, if anything it was a foul by (Henry) because he came from behind and collided with me," Puyol said, "but referees can get things wrong."[45] Spain coach Luis Aragonés also called the foul "non-existent". But Henry said, "Puyol came up to me afterwards and apologised so how is that cheating?" He also told reporters, "Look at the replay, their left-back was going to take the ball and Puyol came across me and blocked me. If that's basketball that's a good block, but we're not playing basketball. In my head I'm not a guy who does go down or cheats."[46] Television announcer and former Netherlands international Ruud Gullit said of the play, "I am a little bit disappointed. It shows that cheating works."[47]

Portugal vs. France (Semi-finals)[edit]

It was reported Zinedine Zidane turned to the Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda and the two talked for a few moments. The outcome of the discussion must not have satisfied the number 10 of the Bleus, which turned and, murmured the insult directed to Larrionda in Spanish: "hijo de puta" (son of a bitch).[48][49]

Italy vs. France (Final)[edit]

Zinedine Zidane converted a controversial penalty and was sent off for a headbutt in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final

Zinedine Zidane opened the scoring in the 7th minute by converting a controversial penalty spot kick, which glanced off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal. The penalty was awarded after Florent Malouda went down inside the Italian penalty area under a challenge from Italian defender Marco Materazzi. The call was somewhat controversial—as it was put by an Associated Press report posted in the ESPN website "Malouda stumbled – many might say dived – in the penalty area and Elizondo immediately signaled a penalty kick".[50] However, the ralenty (looking carefully) give reason to the referee.[51]

Italy then equalized at the 19th minute with a header by Materazzi himself and went on to win the title on penalty shoot out. The controversy surrounding the penalty was however overshadowed by the discussion surrounding Zinedine Zidane's sending off by the end of extra-time for headbutting the Italian player in the chest.

Other issues[edit]

Officiating less-prominent teams, general concern[edit]

Match referees have faced accusations of bias from the media and team representatives for allegedly favouring larger and better-established teams at the finals, at the expense of less established football nations.[52] After the Australian team was knocked out of the tournament as a result of a controversial penalty given against defender Lucas Neill in their Second round match against Italy, Australian assistant coach Graham Arnold was quoted as saying, "We are a small footballing nation that gets no favours. All we ask for is a fair go, and I don't think we received it over the four games."[53] Likewise, after going down to Brazil in their second round match, Ghana's head coach Ratomir Dujković stated that "the referee might as well have been wearing a yellow shirt under his own".[54]

One basis for these claims has been the irregular balance of fouls sanctioned by referees between traditional powers and emerging teams. As of 27 June, the top eight seeded teams have a combined net surplus of 93 more fouls sustained than committed with an average of 3.1 per match, according to statistics published on FIFA's website.[55]

On average, as of 27 June, the team with the highest fouls count of the finals have been debutants; Ghana, with a 1.95 ratio between fouls committed and fouls sustained, Tunisia with a ratio of 1.76 fouls committed/sustained, and Australia with a 1.75 ratio.

By contrast, the teams with fewer fouls committed have been traditional powerhouses Italy, Brazil and Spain – with respective averages of 0.66, 0.67 and 0.75 in fouls committed/sustained ratios.

On the other hand, the teams that committed the least fouls (less than 50 in three games) were Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, South Korea, Paraguay, Poland and Japan (the latter with just 38 fouls). Also, of the 5 teams most judged wrongly offside, four were in "Pot A", which therefore seeds them in the top 8 (Italy, Argentina, France and Brazil) and the other emerging European side Ukraine. Of the teams that were judged to be in an offside position incorrectly on no occasion in the first three games, only one (Mexico) was seeded into "Pot A".[56]

While these statistics could be used to support claims of bias, they could also indicate that some teams are rougher and that the stronger teams are more disciplined, and their success is due to their not committing excessive fouls. Additionally it should be considered that a team in possession is more likely to sustain a foul than a defending team, and therefore the successful teams are likely to sustain more fouls.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter told before the tournament that referees should protect big star players: "What has been clearly said to referees is ‘please protect the physical integrity of the players’, and that means protecting the big stars".[57]

Player and referee communication, Australia vs. Brazil (Group stage)[edit]

According to Football Federation Australia (FFA) officials, the referee Markus Merk refused to talk to Australian captain Mark Viduka when approached during the game to explain certain refereeing decisions. Although many fans believed this to be irregular, the FIFA Laws of the Game clearly state: "The captain of a team has no special status or privileges under the Laws of the Game but he has a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of his team." – (Additional Instructions for the Referee)

This was part of the evidence used by the FFA to help defend Harry Kewell's after-match argument with Merk, which (pending a FIFA enquiry) threatened his participation in Australia's following match against Croatia. The enquiry later cleared the player of any wrongdoing, due to inconsistent reports between the officials, "despite photographs and television replays showing Kewell striding purposefully towards Merk, mouthing off and pointing his finger at him – the sort of anti-referee histrionics FIFA usually frowns heavily upon."[58]

Record card tally, Portugal vs. Netherlands (Second round)[edit]

This second-round game created some controversy due to the record number of bookings given by referee Valentin Ivanov. He gave a total of 16 yellow cards and 4 red cards. On this occasion, FIFA president Sepp Blatter publicly criticised his performance.[59]

In an interview to Russian press, Ivanov stated that he "had been warned of the Portuguese harsh tactics but was surprised that the Dutch started it". This sentence generated an official protest of the Portuguese federation with FIFA.

Blue background for Argentine shooters, Germany vs. Argentina (Quarter final)[edit]

German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann wore a sky blue shirt during the penalty shoot-outs. An advertisement placed directly behind the goal had white characters on sky blue background, and three people standing behind it were also dressed in sky blue and white shirts. Argentine fans claim that this was intentionally made to distract Argentine players at the penalty kicks.[60]

Furthermore, a fight broke out between both teams after the end of the penalty shootout.

Defence of referees[edit]

On summing up the progress of the tournament at the conclusion of the group stage, Sepp Blatter spoke in defence of FIFA's officiating in the tournament, stating "... referees are only human, and they make mistakes. We have to reduce the number of mistakes, but we're all still searching in vain for perfection."[61] Despite Blatter's statement, both Ivanov and Poll, referees at the center of the two largest controversies, were not included on the twelve-team list of officials selected by FIFA to referee the final eight matches of the competition.[62]

Player disputes[edit]


Following months of confusion over who would be managing the African debutants Togo, Otto Pfister was only confirmed in the job the day before their opening match against South Korea. Pfister had previously resigned as coach of the team. The players threatened to boycott the final group match against France due to pay disputes.[63][64]

Fair-play agreements[edit]

FIFA and the World Cup Organization have every team member and coach sign a "Fair-play agreement".

Portugal v Netherlands (Second round)[edit]

Portugal had possession of the ball when the game was interrupted by the referee to assist injured Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho. Under fair play conduct, when the game restarted, the Netherlands should have either not disputed the ball release or taken the ball without challenge and returned it to Portugal, however teams are not bound by the "Fair Play Agreement" signed before the tournament and no penalty can arise from such a situation. Instead, Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga kept possession, and was subsequently tackled from behind by Deco, who received a yellow card.[65] He received a second yellow card in the 78th minute for time wasting and was sent off, earning a ban for the quarter-final match against England.

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari accused Dutch coach Marco van Basten of encouraging his players to play on, and said, "The Portuguese Football Federation, on the basis of the FIFA Fair Play documents, will put in a request to overturn the card for Deco."[65][66] However, Portugal did not officially file the appeal, and FIFA spokesman Markus Siegler told the press, "There was a phone call from Portugal and they were clearly told 'forget it'."[65]


Certain matches attracted attention due to the high number of cards.

The Italy - USA match had three red cards with De Rossi of Italy in particular given marching orders for elbowing an opponent. This match was second only to the encounter between the Netherlands and Portugal (which had four, as well as 16 yellows). A Croatian player was also sent off after having (mistakenly) been given three yellow cards by referee Graham Poll.

Fan issues[edit]

Some Dutch fans were forced to take off their trousers branded with the logo of Bavaria beer, as Budweiser was the official beer of the tournament.[67][68] Rather than leave the stadium, they proceeded to watch the match in their underclothes.



While the German Police expressed satisfaction in their ability to contain and deal with hooliganism, speculation was rife that a number of potential flashpoints existed which could cause widespread public disorder. With a number of routes into the country, amongst them the open land borders which are a consequence of the Schengen agreement, apprehension of known troublemakers and organisers of disturbances looked to be a very real problem. However, during the World Cup, Germany suspended its rules granting passport-free travel to EU citizens. As an illustration of this, on 8 June, German police apprehended 9 English hooligans attempting to enter the country via the Czech border. Britain has a particularly stringent policy of restricting foreign travel of known football hooligans during periods where the England team are involved. 3,500 banning orders were served, and by 8 June all but 150 had surrendered their passports. On 9 June Channel 4 News in the UK reported that although there had been no violence, England fans in Frankfurt had been kicking footballs at the windows of the city's 600-year-old Römer city hall building, although local police decided not to take action over this minor incident and the staff at the Mayor's office apparently took the attempted vandalism in good humour. On the day of England's first match against Paraguay two England fans were arrested for having swastikas and SS insignia painted on their bodies. The two were flown back to England to appear in court; one was found guilty and banned from attending football matches until 2008, while the other was not banned as the symbol (the double-sig rune of the SS) was painted on his back, and he may not have been able to see it or known what it was. The court heard that the fan found guilty also had a letter J on his arm, believed to be a slight to Jews, but claimed not to know its meaning.[69] There was also concern over hooligans among the 300,000 Polish fans who travelled to Germany for the tournament.[70] This supposition was borne out as clashes between rival groups of supporters culminated in the arrest of 429 prior to and in the wake of the game between Germany and Poland in Dortmund.[71][72] On 14 June, ITV news in the UK reported that up to that date 7 England fans had been arrested, one for a "serious offence".


It was claimed that "foreign-looking" people should not visit some areas in the former East Germany,[73] after one newspaper reported that neo-Nazi skinheads were planning violence against foreigners. Germany contains a small but vocal neo-Nazi minority who have engaged in violent attacks against the country's immigrants, as well as foreign visitors, since the fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent German reunification. According to German police, neo-Nazi hate crime was on the rise and had increased significantly over the preceding few months.[74][75]

Two human rights organizations, the Africa Council, based in Berlin, and the International League of Human Rights advised black and Asian fans to avoid certain areas of eastern Germany during the World Cup.[76][77]

The far-right NPD, an organisation which the German government unsuccessfully tried to ban in 2001, had planned to march through Gelsenkirchen on 10 June, a day after Ecuador met Poland in the city's new purpose-built stadium. This march had first been banned by the German police, but later permitted by the Gelsenkirchen Administrative Court. Other far-right marches were planned for Frankfurt and Herne during the competition, although these were subsequently banned.[78]

FIFA announced that at the World Cup, teams could have points deducted for racist remarks by players and officials. A "Football Against Racism" logo covered each field's center circle until kickoff at all World Cup matches. Prior to every quarter-final match, the captains read a "declaration against racism" over the PA system.

The European Union launched a campaign against racism before the World Cup. Friso Roscam Abbing, spokesman for the EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner indicated that the campaign also targeted prostitution rings and human trafficking.

Trafficking of women[edit]

Some international human rights groups (like the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Nordic Council and Amnesty International) expressed concern that there would be an increase in the trafficking of women up to and during the World Cup. PACE and Amnesty claimed that 30,000 women and girls might become the subject of slavery for the purposes of forced prostitution during the World Cup. They called upon the German authorities to monitor sex venues during the World Cup and provide support for the victims of trafficking.[79][80][81][82]

According to German police, there was no noticeable increase in forced prostitution during the World Cup. While there was a significant influx of (legal and illegal) prostitutes to Germany before the World Cup, most of those were reported to have left within the first two weeks. Police officials from several cities quoted prostitutes saying that business actually decreased.[83]

Computer cracking[edit]

FIFA's IT provider Avaya indicated that it expected, and was prepared for, the denial-of-service attacks which were unsuccessfully launched at the IT network for the 2002 World Cup. No successful attacks were launched on the German World Cup system.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Davies, Christopher (24 June 2006). "Red card for Poll after clanger". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 July 2006. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Soccer Notes: Ref gives 3 yellows". Toronto Star. Toronto. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 3 July 2006. 
  3. ^ "Third time not the charm". 23 June 2006. Archived from the original on 1 July 2006. Retrieved 3 July 2006. 
  4. ^ a b c Davies, Christopher (30 June 2006). "Emotional Poll bows out". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 July 2006. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Hand, Gus (24 June 2006). "Aussies would have protested loss". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Archived from the original on 11 July 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2006. 
  6. ^ a b "Ref Poll sent home from World Cup". BBC Sport. 28 June 2006. Archived from the original on 26 June 2006. Retrieved 3 July 2006. 
  7. ^ "The first step: Argentina holds off Ivory Coast 2–1 in opener". Sports Illustrated. 10 June 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2006. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Blatter pays tribute to World Cup refereeing so far". The Jamaican Observer. 12 June 2006. Archived from the original on 29 June 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2006. 
  9. ^ "Argentina strikes first in toughest group". MSNBC. 15 June 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2006. 
  10. ^ Lynch, Michael (13 June 2006). "Unbelievable win for Socceroos". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 29 June 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2006. 
  11. ^ Palmer, Justin (12 June 2006). "Cahill's late double delights Australia". Retrieved 4 July 2006. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Hiddink apologises for FIFA scuffle". ninemsn. 13 June 2006. Archived from the original on 8 July 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2006. 
  13. ^ a b "Ref apologizes to Aussies for bad call". Sports Illustrated. 12 June 2006. Archived from the original on 16 June 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2006. 
  14. ^ Omar Shoeb (13 June 2006). "Abdul-Fattah: I did not apologize to the Aussies". FilBalad. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2006. 
  15. ^ "Refereeing mistake cost Japan a penalty, says top FIFA official". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 June 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  16. ^ "Referee should have given Japan penalty, says FIFA". 14 June 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2006. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Church, Michael (15 June 2006). "Zico frustration at FIFA comments". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2006. 
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