2 Jun: The World’s Most Violent Football Match

The ‘Battle of Santiago’ was the name given to the shambolic and brutal World Cup Final between Chile and Italy on 2nd June, 1962.

Featuring drop-kicks, punching and nose-breaking, the incendiary footage of the match was introduced by the BBC’s David Coleman as “the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game.”

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal how referee Ken Aston took inspiration from the event to invent red and yellow cards; explain why Chile, still recovering from the Valdivia earthquake, had taken Italy’s criticism of their country so seriously; and question whether the BBC’s apparent indignation was entirely genuine…

Further Reading:

• ‘Disgusting and Disgraceful: The Battle of Santiago At World Cup 1962’, The Sportsman (2018):


• FIFA revisits the match in 2018:

• The Guardian looks back at this day in history (2014):