We all love a conspiracy theory, don’t we?
Even if we don’t actually believe them, it’s always interesting to hear wild theories from people who refuse to simply accept facts.
And over the weekend, an intriguing Reddit thread emerged asking fans to name their favourite football conspiracy theories.
The thread reads: “To pass the time during this COVID-19 pandemic lets discuss some wacky conspiracy theory that you believe (in delusion, perhaps) is actually true.”
Hundreds of fans replied (almost 500 comments at the time of writing) revealing their crazy football conspiracy theories.
Here are some of the best:
“Nike forced Ronaldo to play the 1998 World Cup final”
Brazil’s Ronaldo had a seizure the night before the 1998 World Cup final against France and, initially, wasn’t named in the squad for the final in Paris. However, the superstar did start the match - although could do nothing to stop France winning 3-0. Did Nike - who sponsored Ronaldo - force him to play? Or is there a whole conspiracy theory behind the seizure itself?
“Spurs' lasagna-gate to stop them overtaking Arsenal for fourth”
Spurs only needed to match Arsenal’s result on the final day of the 2005/06 season to finish above their north London rivals and qualify for the Champions League. However, the night before their match against West Ham at Upton Park, almost the entire squad fell ill after consuming lasagna at the Marriott West India Quay hotel. A thread-bare Spurs side subsequently lost 4-2 with Arsenal overtaking them into fourth. Was the lasagna chef a West Ham or Arsenal fan?
“The South Korea vs Spain match in the 2002 World Cup was rigged"
This is a theory that many fans may hold. South Korea reached the semi-final of the 2002 World Cup in their own country after beating Italy in the last-16 and then Spain in the quarter-finals. A number of questionable decisions went in favour of South Korea in that tournament but would a referee really risk his career by cheating in a World Cup?
“The Match of the Day commentators know what’s going to happen”
“Van Dijk is up for this corner. We know how dangerous he is in these situations. In towards Van Dijk. Gooooal.”
Match of the Day commentators are accused of commenting in a studio after the match has already taken place so they know what will happen. It’s a theory that Gary Lineker has disproved previously but that won’t stop supporters from thinking it.
“Ed Woodward staged the ‘attack’ on his house to gain sympathy from the higher-ups and the fans. Or at least knew it was happening and let it happen. He just signed Neil Ashton, who works for the Sun, to help with PR, then next thing you know after chants calling for his removal and subsequent execution, fireworks are being thrown at his house, with the Sun there beforehand with a camera crew. Also Ed and his family were coincidentally not home that night.”
As conspiracy theories go, this one is pretty wild. Man Utd’s chief executive Ed Woodward’s house was attacked by fans with a reporter from The Sun being in the right place at the right time. A club statement called out The Sun by saying “The Club believes that The Sun newspaper had received advance notice of the intended attack, which included criminal damage and intent to intimidate, and that the journalist was present as it happened." The paper claimed they had a tip-off and thought it would only be a protest. Was it all staged? Some United fans clearly think so.
“EA Sports are intentionally f***ing with offline modes on FIFA 20 (such as career mode) to drive players online to play FUT as it's far more lucrative. Considering the amount of bugs they still haven't fixed, the fact that they've intentionally f***ed up ultimate difficulty for career mode users and still haven't fixed it.”
Would EA Sports sabotage their own game in order to encourage players to play online? It seems unlikely but FIFA players want answers.
“The CL draws are completely irrelevant and the teams get picked by UEFA themselves after the conclusion of each round.”
Fans will always claim that a draw is ‘rigged’ if they face a tough side. Despite the fact that Champions League draws are televised live, fans are still claiming hot balls are used.
“Amazon's Spurs season has been scripted. Getting Mourinho was definitely recommended and financed by Amazon. Levy wouldn't consider such money-draining appointment if he wasn't promised that the costs will be covered.”
Amazon have hit the jackpot by deciding to follow Spurs this season considering everything that has happened. That Amazon had a say in Jose Mourinho replacing Mauricio Pochettino is about as far as we’re willing to go - not that Daniel Levy would have appointed him on Amazon’s say-so. But was Amazon responsible for Spurs losing to Colchester in the Carabao Cup? For losing 7-2 to Bayern Munich? For Eric Dier running into the stands to confront a fan? No chance.
“Harry Kane secretly hates England and that’s why he didn’t square it to Sterling”
Some England fans simply can’t forget when Harry Kane failed to pass to ball to Raheem Sterling against Croatia in the World Cup semi-final. But the fact that he didn’t pass it because he ‘hates England’ is just ridiculous. Remember, he did win the Golden Boot in that tournament...
“Steven Gerrard missed a penalty on purpose to get Roy Hodgson sacked”
Liverpool were losing 3-1 to Blackburn when Steven Gerrard blazed a penalty over with six minutes left at Ewood Park. The loss left Liverpool four points above the relegation zone after 20 matches. Hodgson was sacked three days later. But would Gerrard - club captain - purposely miss a penalty to get him sacked? Surely not…
“There are so many Copa Americas recently because they're trying to give Messi more chances of getting an international trophy”
Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest player to have ever played the game but he’s still looking to win a trophy for his nation, Argentina. He’s had plenty of chances in the form of Copa America with editions in 2015, 2016, 2019 and another one scheduled in 2020 in Argentina. Of course, that has now been postponed meaning Messi won’t have a chance of finally leading his country to glory.
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