Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Memories of 1970

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Memories of 1970

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Hart

In the countdown to next weeks' World Cup finals in South Africa, the Evening Standard's Michael Hart looks back on the 11 tournaments he has covered for this newspaper ...

TWO elements are necessary to generate a spectacular World Cup -- a great Brazil team and a Latin host nation. Mexico provided both in 1970.

But not everyone thought Mexico an ideal venue. Heat, altitude and TV's insistence on noon kick-offs presented unique problems. Brazil spent three months acclimatising. Sir Alf Ramsey took England, the defending champions, to Mexico in 1969 to experience the heat and win friends.

After a 0-0 draw against Mexico in the Aztec Stadium Ramsey was asked if he would like to say something to the local press.

"A band played outside our hotel until five this morning," he complained.

Diplomacy was not one of Ramsey's strengths. When England returned to defend the trophy a year later they were described by the Mexican press as "thieves and drunkards". …

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