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This does not happen: unusual circumstances of canceled and suspended matches

Every day, hundreds of thousands of football matches take place around the world at various levels. However, in some situations, the game has to be canceled or stopped. History knows many such cases. This is mainly due to natural disasters, collisions between fans or threats to the safety of players. But sometimes the reasons for canceling or stopping matches are so bizarre that they cause a special resonance in the sports world. We have selected 5 of the most unusual cases when the organizers of the match had to face extraordinary problems.

To let your feet breathe

In 1948, the Indian team shocked the entire European football world ... At the London Olympics, the players decided to play in boots only in the rain or on a viscous field. In all other cases, they did not want to change their football traditions and played barefoot. If the weather conditions suited the Indians, before the match they wrapped their feet with something like footcloths, with their toes sticking out. For example, in a game against France, only the goalkeeper and team defenders put on their boots. And since India used in that match a 2-3-5 scheme, insane by the standards of modern football, where 2 is the number of defenders, as many as 8 out of 11 players ran barefoot across the field.

This does not happen: unusual circumstances of canceled and suspended matches

Indian footballers play barefoot

Photo: State Library of New South Wales

FIFA soon forbade players to go out without boots. Thus, India became the first and last team to play barefoot in a major international tournament.
It is believed that it was the unwillingness to play in boots that led the national team to refuse to participate in the finals of the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. However, many cite another reason: the country simply did not have enough money to send its national team to Brazil.

Darkness on the pitch

In 1961 English Gillingham was supposed to go to visit Barrow . As the hosts of the meeting did not have the stadium equipped with floodlights, the match was scheduled for daytime in order to have time to play before dark. It would seem that the problem was solved, and the players from Gillingham could only get up early in order to arrive in the north of the country in the afternoon, at Barrow Stadium. But in reality, everything turned out to be much more complicated.

First of all, Gillingham's players missed the train. They could not wait for the next one, as they would waste too much time and receive a technical defeat. Therefore, the club's management had to take emergency measures - to rent a plane, which at that time was an unaffordable luxury for a football club from a small English town. The team flew to Blackpool, from which there was still 70 km of the way. As a result, the players got to the stadium by car, accompanied by a police escort. In Barrow's camp, guests were expected to the last and time after time they postponed, but did not cancel the game. As it turned out, it was not in vain: the teams gathered, the fans werethe stands were chilling, and the starting whistle still sounded.

This does not happen: unusual circumstances of canceled and suspended matches

Gillingham players on the pitch

Photo: from the Gillingham FC archive

However, this match, apparently, was simply not destined to take place. At the 76th minute, with the score 7: 0 in favor of Barrow, the referee decided to end the game. And why do you think? Due to the onset of darkness. The Football League decided not to appoint a follow-up match and keep the result, in which the teams left the field, and the players of Gillingham returned home without incident and without scored points.

Too cold, let's go tomorrow

The match between Lincoln City and Coventry in the third round of the 1962/63 FA Cup was scheduled for January 5, but due to frost hit the match had to be postponed for several days. And then for a few more days. And further. Nature did not want this game to take place. In total, 15 attempts were made to set a date, until finally, after 3 months and 1 day, on March 6, a meeting was still held. It seems that the Coventry footballers were very annoyed by the endless transfers and decided to take out their anger on the Lincoln City players. The match ended in a defeat - 5: 1 in favor of Coventry.

This does not happen: unusual circumstances of canceled and suspended matches

Lincoln City at the match, 1957

Photo: Evening Standard / Getty Images

Wizard at goal

If the scouts of the top European clubs knew that the Rwandan goalkeeper Mohamud Mossi knows how not only to hit the balls, but also to drive away evil spirits, the transfer cost of Mohamud would probably exceed the budget of his African homeland.

In 2003, during the qualifying match of the African Cup of Nations, Rwanda - Uganda, Mossi lit a fire right at the gates of his team to drive away the evil that could interfere with the success of his team. It is unclear how the goalkeeper managed to smuggle the flammable mixture onto the field, but because of this performance, the match was stopped for half an hour, until the players of both teams and the firemen managed to extinguish the fire, which almost spread to the stands.

Mossy's Witchcraft helped: the goalkeeper did not concede a single goal, and Rwanda won with a score of 1: 0. Uganda tried to appeal the result of the match and award the opponent a technical defeat for a fire on the field, but was refused.

The most dedicated goalkeeper in history

The circumstances of the cancellation of the 1937 England Championship match between Chelsea and Charlton altogether were not strange, and at first this story seems absolutely ordinary. The teams played on Christmas Day in a very heavy fog. At one point, the match referee decided to end the match due to poor visibility, and all the players left the field. Everyone except goalkeeper Charlton, the legendary Sam Bartram .

This does not happen: unusual circumstances of canceled and suspended matches

Goalkeeper Sam Bartram at the gate

Photo: Ockinden / Central Press / Getty Images

Later in his autobiography he recalled:

Soon after the start of the match, fog began to thicken over the Chelsea goal. Chelsea goalkeeper Vic Woodley was the first to disappear from sight. watched as ours attacked another's gate. Since ours were on the attack at another's gate, I began to distinguish less and less of my comrades.

I walked back and forth along the goal line and beamed with happiness that our guys were chasing Chelsea In their half of the field. Some time passed, and I began to move to the line of the penalty, peering into the dregs. The defense of the blue was clearly exhausted, I thought. Finally, I saw some figure: What are you doing here? The match was canceled a quarter hours ago. The field is completely empty - it was a policeman. walked to the locker room, my teammates had already taken a shower and were convulsing with laughter.

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