In the history of international football, there have been more than a few infamous games that have degenerated into some kind of warfare. The ‘Battle of Santiago when English referee Ken Aston vainly strived to officiate a running street brawl between Chile and Italy in the 1962 World Cup comes to mind. Others may cite the ‘Battle of Bern‘ in 1954. This game saw Brazilians and Hungarians carry their feud into the tunnel and reportedly even the dressing rooms. Then of course there was the World Cup qualifying games between Honduras and El Salvador that proved to be the trigger that fired up the simmering tensions between the two countries into the ‘100 hours war’ of 1969. It’s unlikely that Gibraltar’s entry into the world of competitive international football, as they face Poland, will lead to armed conflict, but the colony’s relation with Spain have hardly been improved.
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