November 23, 2014
ZURICH (AP) - A soccer conference has been told that the World Cup was twice won with the help of dictators fixing matches for the host country.
The assertions came at a symposium hosted by soccer's governing body called "The Relevance and Impact of FIFA World Cups."
Argentina's triumph in 1978 and Italy's in 1934 were said to be influenced by military leaders seeking propaganda coups.
Italian writer Marco Impiglia tells The Associated Press: "It's the same old story: Sport and politics are brothers, and sometimes sport is under the other brother."
Impiglia presented a paper suggesting Benito Mussolini ensured favorable refereeing decisions, helping the host team win.
Raanan Rein, an Israeli professor of Latin American history, says he's "100 percent persuaded" Argentina's then-ruling military junta influenced a 6-0 win against Peru.