27th June 1954. The day will be remembered as a historic day in football forever as the term “Battle Of Berne” which took place on this day in 1954 centering a match played between Hungary and Brazil at FIFA World cup Quarter Final in Switzerland.
Way of Meeting
Brazil faced Mexico and Yugoslavia and France in the group stage. They have beaten Mexico, drew with Yugoslavia. On the other hand, Yugoslavia also beat France. So both teams had the same points. But at that time goal difference wasn’t taken into account, which necessitated the need for a draw of lots to ensure which team makes the knockout round.
Brazil came out trumps in the draw and earned the right to face Hungary in the quarter-final. Hungary on the other hand thrashed their Group opponents West Germany and South Korea with a result of 8-3 and 9-0. Hungary remained unbeaten for four years in all International matches.
Battle of Berne: The Black Day
27th June 1954. Brazil and Hungary finally met each other in the battle to go through to the Semi-Finals of FIFA world Cup at Wankdorf Stadium, Berne. Mighty Magyars who started as favourites in the quarter-final soon took the lead when Nandor Hidegkuti, the Hungary striker broke the deadlock. Just three minutes later Sandor Kocsis doubled the Hungarian advantage. Finally At 18th Minute Djalma Santos scored a spot-kick and brought Brazil back to the game. The Incident was charged up at the hour mark of the game when Hungary was awarded a penalty by the referee. Mihaly Lantos scored from the penalty and make it 3-1 for the Magyars but suddenly for awarding this penalty tempered flare in Brazilian Camp as the Brazilian officials and the journalists stormed the pitch in protest before being ushered out by the police.
However, the match slowly degenerated into chaos as violent challenges and cynical tactics flew left, right and centre. Somehow Brazil managed to find another goal to make the score 3-2. At the 71st minute mark, Jozsef Bozsik and Nilton Santos started fighting after the Brazilian fouled the Hungarian, it ultimately resulted in both men seeing the red card. Amidst all the scuffle Kocsis scored to make the score 4-2 and sealed it for them. Before the final whistle, Brazil saw their second dismissal as Humberto Tozzi was sent off for kicking Gyula Lorant. By the final whistle, the game had seen 42 free-kicks, two penalties, and three red cards. The unsavoury nature of the game earned it the moniker “The Battle of Berne“.
Match Referee Arthur Ellis told later about the ferocious attitude of the players later-
“I thought it was going to be the greatest game I’d ever see. I was on top of the world. Whether politics and religion had something to do with it I don’t know, but they behaved like animals. It was a disgrace.”Match Referee Arthur Ellis
He also added: “It was a horrible match. In today’s climate so many players would have been sent off, and the game would have been abandoned. My only thought was that I was determined to finish it.”
Still after many years of this incident, it is believed to be one of the most horrible incident in Football History till now.
Have you known any other similar incident in the history of Football like the Battle of Berne? Let us know in the comment section below.