BLOOD ON THE CROSSBAR: THE DICTATORSHIP’S WORLD CUP by Rhys Richards
This is the story of the most controversial football World Cup of all time.
When Argentina both hosted and won the World Cup in 1978, just two years after the coup d’état that ousted Isabel Perón, it was against the backdrop of a brutal military dictatorship in the country. Under the leadership of General Jorge Videla, up to 30,000 citizens, categorised as subversives, ‘disappeared’.
Dogged by allegations of bribery, coercion and an historic failed drugs test, this is the story of Argentina’s maiden World Cup triumph and the controversy that simmered behind it.
This isn’t exclusively a tale of footballers and generals, and the risks they took to succeed. It’s a story of the people: Argentinean exiles, Parisian students, brave journalists, the marching mothers of Plaza de Mayo and their missing children – and Dutch stand-up comedians who led international boycotts from thousands of miles away.
(Publisher: Pitch Publishing Ltd. September 2022. Hardcover: 304 pages)