LIFESTYLE

From Bafana Bafana To Hansie Cronje -- Here Are Some Of The Darkest Moments Of Sports

From corruption and match-fixing to unsportsmanlike behaviour.

07/09/2017 13:27 SAST | Updated 18/09/2017 09:01 SAST
AFP/Getty Images
Uruguay forward Luis Suarez puts his hand to his mouth after clashing with Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014.

ortSports, especially the so-called beautiful game of football, has been glorified for its power to influence and inspire huge audiences.

The 'ugly game', however, refers to match-fixing, corruption and unsportsmanlike behaviour which threatens the image and reputation of sports.

From South Africa's Bafana Bafana match-fixing to Lance Armstrong's drug-taking in the Tour De France and Hansie Cronje's cricket scandal, here's some of the most high-profile darker moments of sports.

Bafana Bafana's match rigging scandal
South Africa won a World Cup qualifier 2-1 back in November 2016 when a fortuitous penalty awarded to the national team won them the game against Senegal. The referee went under review following complaints by the Senegalese national team and he was found guilty of "unlawfully influencing match results". He awarded the penalty to South Africa in their 2-1 win for handball, but replays showed the ball hit Senegal's Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly on the knee.

Joern Pollex - FIFA via Getty Images
(Photo by Joern Pollex - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey was found guilty of match manipulation and banned for life by FIFA. Since then, the South African Football Association has claimed it had nothing to do with the match-fixing as the referee was appointed by CAF, however Fifa officials, who did not want to be named, told Reuters match-fixing was uncovered following irregular betting activity.

It followed allegations that South Africa paid a $10 million bribe to help secure the rights to the 2010 World Cup and that officials were duped by an Asian betting syndicate over the results of warm-up matches before the finals.

In 2010, just weeks before the Fifa World Cup, Bafana played against Columbia and won fortuitously 2-1 after three penalty kicks were awarded. In a match against Guatemala, there were also a collection of bizarre refereeing decisions that led to a Fifa investigation.

SIPHIWE SIBEKO / Reuters
REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT RUGBY)

The headbutting Zinedine Zidane
The 2006 World Cup in Germany will be remembered as the year Italy clinched its fourth title in a penalty shoot-out against France. But perhaps the biggest and most bizarre moment happened in the final, when France captain Zinedine Zidane headbutted opponent Marco Materazzi after he made a comment about his sister, or his mother. Italy went on to win the World Cup in a penalty shoot-out in the absence of the red-carded Zidane, who retired from football after the final and his unsportsmanlike behaviour was witnessed by the whole world.

Hansie Cronje jaw-dropping corruption
The late Wessel Johannes "Hansie" Cronje was a former South African cricketer and captain of the Proteas. He was regarded as one of the finest cricketers but became the Proteas biggest fraud in 2000 after being banned for life due to his role in a match-fixing scandal.

It was revealed that Cronje and Sanjay Chawla, a representative of an Indian betting syndicate, were in conversations over fixing matches and that Cronje had accepted money to throw matches.

ANNA ZIEMINSKI via Getty Images
Photo credit should read ANNA ZIEMINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The scandal was one of the biggest ever to have hit international cricket until the Pakistan scandal of 2010, which involved the team deliberately bowling no-balls at specific points to facilitate the potential defrauding of bookmakers against England.

The cheating, doping Lance Armstrong
"You do anything to win at all costs" were the words of Lance Armstrong after he finally admitted to long-term doping which led to his ban in 2012. Armstrong had won an unprecedented seven Tour De France wins and was regarded as one of the best cyclists in the history of the sport.

In sports, doping refers to the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs by athletic competitors which give them an unfair advantage and enhance their performance. He was subsequently stripped of all his titles and was dropped by sponsors after admitting to having cheated.

Other dishonorable mentions

The ear-biting Mike Tyson
Boxer Mike Tyson took winning to the extreme when he bit part of Evander Holyfield's ear off in match in 1997 for the WBA Heavyweight Championship. Tyson was disqualified from the match and lost his boxing license, though it was later reinstated.

The biting, biting and biting Luis Suárez
The Uruguayan football player has bitten not one, not two but three players in the past decade including Branislav Ivanovic and Giogio Chiellini.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard kicks a ballboy in 2013

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