„Battle of Santiago” (Italia-Chile, 1962)
It was against this highly volatile background that the two sides met in the Estadio Nacional in Santiago in their second group match, with Chile having beaten Switzerland and Italy having earned a creditable goalless draw against West Germany in their respective opening matches. In a futile attempt to try and pacify matters, the Italian players threw bouquets of flowers into the crowd and the match got under way. One of the most enduring myths about the game is that it only took twelve seconds for the first foul to be committed. It wasn’t (it was actually about thirty seconds), but it didn’t take long for the atmosphere between the two teams to deteriorate.
Italy began the match reasonably impressively but the pushing and shoving didn’t take long to start, with the two teams initially seeming to be in some sort of competition to see which could out-simulate the other. The first sending off came after twelve minutes, when the Italian Giorgio Ferrini took a petulant kick at Chile’s Honorino Landa. It was a little swipe (certainly in comparison with fouls from both teams later on during the match), but it was enough for the referee, Englishman Ken Aston, to send Ferrini off. It wasn’t, however, quite that simple. Ferrini refused to leave the pitch and the match was held up for eight minutes while the police escorted him from it, kicking and screaming, and from there on everything started, albeit slowly, to descend into farce.
Every tackle seems over-exaggerated and every reaction to every tackle is likewise. It feels as if every kick that doesn’t smack against someone’s ankles is withdrawn at the very last possible second and the players seem in an ordinate hurry to pass it on as quickly as possible. Possibly the definitive of the moment came when the Chilean Lionel Sanchez and the Italian Mario David got entangled in a corner of the pitch. David took a couple of kicks at Sanchez, who got up and – perhaps appropriately, since he was the son of a professional boxer – flattened David with a left hook to the jaw. Extraordinarily, Sanchez was not sent off, but David’s revenge was as sickening as it turned out to be expensive – a flying kick to Sanchez’s head saw him join Ferrini in the Italian changing room before half-time.
In the second half, the violence continued. Sánchez, who was evidently living a charmed life, punched one of the Argentine-born Italian players, Humberto Maschio in the face, breaking his nose. The kicking, niggly tackles, over-reaction and the general air of menace all continued apace, though. In the background, a football match was trying to get out. The Italians, down to nine men, were grimly hanging on for the draw that would have given them a fighting chance of staying in the competition, but late goals from Jaime Sanchez, with a header after the Italians failed to properly clear deep cross from the left, and a long-range shot from Jorge Toro that found the bottom corner of the net and made the two points safe for Chile, knocking Italy out with a game to spare. Adică, mai pe româneşte, Iulia Moţoc (71 voturi) şi Mircea Ştefan Minea (168 voturi) au fost numiţi judecători la Curtea Constituţională, de Senat şi respectiv, Camera Deputaţilor.