Thursday, 29 May 2014

World Cup Stories - John Aldridge Loses it - 1994

With none of the home nations qualifying for USA ’94, Republic of Ireland carried the hopes of British fans and had pulled off a real shock beating Italy in New Jersey.  In their next game they were losing 0-2 to Mexico and manager, Jack Charlton wanted to make a double substitution but became a victim of increasing officiousness from FIFA.  The procedure was to fill in a form indicating the change you wanted to make, which the manager would sign and then it would pass to the Fourth official who would sanction the switch.  For some reason a FIFA official arrived on the scene taking the form and not giving it to the Fourth official, thereby denying one of the Irish subs, John Aldridge.  The farcical situation developed when Owen Coyne came off, believing he’d been subbed yet Aldridge was still being held back from coming on.  Cue the red mist falling over Aldo and he, in his own words, ‘lost it’. 

Unaware of the cameras on him, Aldo launches into a foul-mouth tirade at the 4th official, accusing him of cheating, resembling various appendages and ignorant of who his father was.  Eventually Aldridge is allowed on and gets a consolation goal for the Irish, who eventually lose.

For Jack Charlton this was his 2nd run-in with FIFA officials in successive games as he was increasingly frustrated with not being allowed to give his players water in the game against Italy.  Charlton, who berated the FIFA official on the touchline after Aldo went on, was fined by FIFA and banned from the touchline for their final group game, which they drew to progress to the knockout stages.

For Aldridge, this remains an incident many will remember him for more than his goal and further enforced the idea Irishmen and scousers had short fuses.

No comments:

Post a Comment