Dirtiest Football Games Ever (Part Six) – Footie Central

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Continuing the series by looking back at some of the dirtiest football games in football history.

For the first part, please click here; Part two please click here; Part Three, Please Click here; Fourth part here; and fifth part here).

While the World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969 was credited with sparking armed conflict between the two countries, no match in European history had such disastrous consequences.

That was until Dinamo Zagreb met their bitterest rivals, Red Star Belgrade, in May 1990.

It played against the fragmentation of the country formed after the Second World War known as Yugoslavia, which had been ruled by Josip Tito until his death in 1980, but which then saw nationalist feelings develop between the separate groups, including Serbs and Croats.

With the fall of communism also precipitating political change, the game between the two rivals, always tense, could hardly have come at a less opportune time.

The trouble started before the match in Zagreb, with fights in the streets between the ultras of both sides – the Bad Blue Boys supporting Dinamo and the Delije (meaning brave or hero) faction representing Red Star.

It continued in the stadium when, ten minutes from kick-off, Dinamo fans broke through the metal fences separating the stands from the pitch and, in the words of a local journalist, what happened then was like a “circle”. from hell.

Fighting broke out everywhere and hundreds were injured, some seriously.

Perhaps the climax of the violence came when Dinamo captain Zvonimir Boban, one of several players who remained on the pitch despite the turmoil, waded through the crowd and kicked a policeman attacking a fan.

The Bad Blue Boys then came to his rescue, protecting him as things descended into chaos.

The game was then abandoned and Boban was suspended by the Football Association of Yugoslavia, missing out on the 1990 World Cup.

It was the last tournament they would participate in as a unified nation.

Within a year, Slovenia and Croatia had declared their independence and the Balkan Wars had begun, one of the deadliest conflicts seen in Europe since the end of World War II.

Boban became a Croatian hero, but many figures who rose to prominence in the ensuing conflicts attended that match on that fateful day, including Željko “Arkan” Ražnatović, the leader of the Delije hooligans and later Supreme Commander of the Volunteer Serbian. Keep.

Even today, the match is commemorated outside the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb, with a monument to Dinamo fans who sacrificed their lives for their Croatian homeland.

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