Ever since the first World Cup was celebrated back in 1930, this event has been considered a top sports competition that the world gets to celebrate every 4 years. The FIFA World Cup has been cancelled only once in its history, and maybe because of the most important incident in modern human history, World War II.
World War II was a military confrontation on a global scale that took place from 1939 to 1945. This second world war involved most of the major countries of the world, including all great powers of those times. This is why it was, at the very least, inappropriate to even think on doing the FIFA World Cup when so many people were getting killed and perishing around the world.
On sight of World War II took place from 1936 to 1945, the FIFA World Cups interrupted were the ones to be held in 1942 and 1946. Once World War II ended and the horrors of war were left behind, the first FIFA World Cup to be held was Brasil 1950 (a fair place, due to the fact that no Latin American country was directly involved on World War II). From then on, the World Cup has been held every four years.
Violence Ruins the Sport
Back in 1994, Colombia was a country under the iron hand of violence and drug trafficking a situation far from normal. That’s why, the goal from Andrés Escobar on the 1994 USA FIFA World Cup, became a freak event, a literal death sentence.
He was 27 years old and had an AC Milán offer to finally jump into the European leagues, a promising passport towards a professional career and a magnificent opportunity to run away from all the problems his country was having at that moment. This mostly promising future was truncated because of an own goal against the USA team, team that ended up winning the match 2-1 and leaving the Colombian team out of the World Cup, on June 22, 1994.
Just ten days after that won goal, Escobar was horribly shot dead on the entrance of a nightclub in Medellín, Colombia. Andrés was murdered and he didn’t get to see Brazil raising the World Cup. An error that can happen to anybody, but when the ball rolled into Colombia’s goal line due to his failed attempt to kick the ball back into US territory, lots of people (criminals and drug dealers) lost big amounts of money.
Andrés’ untimely death showed the world the total dominance Cartels had over Colombian society even after the death, in 1993, of one of the most infamous drug traffickers, Pablo Escobar (no relation). Truth to be told, drug traffickers were (and still are, in some cases) the owners of the Colombian teams, where they shared their passion and rivalry, not only for fun, but owning these teams presented a perfect opportunity to hide their bloody fortunes.
FIFA’s reaction almost got Colombia’s national team banned from any FIFA competitions, but it didn’t happen in the end. Let us hope that there aren’t any other interruptions on the next World Cups. We as humanity, don’t want to see any more things like those that happened back in World War II.