LANGUAGE
Due to translations, the other language editions of NATO Review go online approximately two weeks after the English version.
About NATO Review
Submission policy
COPYRIGHT INFO
Editorial team
 RSS
SEND THIS ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATO REVIEW
  
 

Christmas day 1915: one of the most famous football matches ever took place between English and German troops who had been shooting at each other from the trenches the day before. Both sides came out peacefully into no man's land between the trenches and kicked a football around. One soldier estimated that there may have been 50 soldiers on each side. The shooting resumed the next day.

May 1938: England travel to Berlin to play Germany. Under orders from the British Foreign Office, England's players perform the Nazi salute before the game - even though Hitler was not in the stadium. The one England player who refused was dropped from the team. England won the game 6-3.

Osama bin Laden was revealed as an Arsenal fan by his biographer. It seems that the head of al-Qaida attended several football matches at Arsenal's Highbury stadium during a three month stay in London in 1994. He was said to be impressed by the fanaticism of the crowd. Arsenal football club, upon learning of their new famous fan after 9/11, issued a statement saying he was no longer welcome at the ground.

June 1986: Diego Maradona uses his hand to score a crucial goal against England in the World Cup in Mexico. He later claimed that the goal was scored 'a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God'. Relations were still tense between the countries as the Falklands war had been only four years before. Although Maradona scored one of the best goals ever later in the game, he claims to have enjoyed the first one more 'because it robbed the English'.

March 1998: just months before the World Cup in France, police in Belgium raided several houses in Belgium and arrested seven members of an Algerian terrorist group. Their plan to kill both the England and USA teams at the tournament, using both guns and biological weapons, had been uncovered and prevented. Following this, security at World Cup tournaments became increasingly tight.

© Reuters

June 2002: at the first World Cup after 9/11, tournament hosts South Korea and Japan went to extreme lengths to make sure the tournament would not fall victim to a terrorist attack. Anti-aircraft guns were installed inside the stadium in Seoul for the opening match, a six mile no fly zone was imposed around all matches while warships and submarines were deployed off the countries' coasts.

June 2006: the theme of preventing attacks remained strong when Germany hosted the World Cup for the first time since 1974. This time NATO was involved, providing AWACS support in the sky to supply information on air traffic movements for over a month while the tournament was on.

© Reuters

Why it all matters: more than 3 billion people globally either play - or have an interest in - football. This map shows where the largest concentrations of the world's game are around the world.

Christmas day 1915: one of the most famous football matches ever took place between English and German troops who had been shooting at each other from the trenches the day before. Both sides came out peacefully into no man's land between the trenches and kicked a football around. One soldier estimated that there may have been 50 soldiers on each side. The shooting resumed the next day.

May 1938: England travel to Berlin to play Germany. Under orders from the British Foreign Office, England's players perform the Nazi salute before the game - even though Hitler was not in the stadium. The one England player who refused was dropped from the team. England won the game 6-3.

Osama bin Laden was revealed as an Arsenal fan by his biographer. It seems that the head of al-Qaida attended several football matches at Arsenal's Highbury stadium during a three month stay in London in 1994. He was said to be impressed by the fanaticism of the crowd. Arsenal football club, upon learning of their new famous fan after 9/11, issued a statement saying he was no longer welcome at the ground.

June 1986: Diego Maradona uses his hand to score a crucial goal against England in the World Cup in Mexico. He later claimed that the goal was scored 'a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God'. Relations were still tense between the countries as the Falklands war had been only four years before. Although Maradona scored one of the best goals ever later in the game, he claims to have enjoyed the first one more 'because it robbed the English'.

March 1998: just months before the World Cup in France, police in Belgium raided several houses in Belgium and arrested seven members of an Algerian terrorist group. Their plan to kill both the England and USA teams at the tournament, using both guns and biological weapons, had been uncovered and prevented. Following this, security at World Cup tournaments became increasingly tight.

© Reuters

June 2002: at the first World Cup after 9/11, tournament hosts South Korea and Japan went to extreme lengths to make sure the tournament would not fall victim to a terrorist attack. Anti-aircraft guns were installed inside the stadium in Seoul for the opening match, a six mile no fly zone was imposed around all matches while warships and submarines were deployed off the countries' coasts.

June 2006: the theme of preventing attacks remained strong when Germany hosted the World Cup for the first time since 1974. This time NATO was involved, providing AWACS support in the sky to supply information on air traffic movements for over a month while the tournament was on.

© Reuters

Why it all matters: more than 3 billion people globally either play - or have an interest in - football. This map shows where the largest concentrations of the world's game are around the world.

Share this    DiggIt   MySpace   Facebook   Delicious   Permalink