10 times fans went too far: featuring bananas, baseball bats and alien invasions
1. Pele: not the king of betting
We’re going to demonstrate outside Pele’s house, put placards up and keep him awake at night
“We’re going to demonstrate outside Pele’s house, put placards up and keep him awake at night,” claimed a delegation of concerned Colombia fans last month. The reason for their militancy? There were rumours that the Brazilian great – commonly regarded as football’s anti-Nostradamus – was about to install Los Cafeteros as one of his World Cup favourites.
“Look what happened when he tipped us to win in 1994,” wailed a spokesman, recalling Colombia’s group stage exit that also resulted in the death of own-goal villain Andres Escobar. “We could do without that kind of drama.”
2. Parker’s limbo lesson
In 1990, Kings of Diamonds striker Wesley Parker was approached by an irate supporter who lambasted the striker’s ineptitude in front of goal for the Jamaican amateurs.
Parker was then taken to an “unknown location”, where he was forced – police later learned – to limbo dance for two hours to “teach him to be more flexible”. The kidnapper then let Parker go, but not before he was told to “be more bendy” in future.
3. Roberto goes bananas
Armed with a bag of bananas and identified only as Roberto, our passionate aficionado scaled a tree outside the club’s stadium
You’re a Corinthians fan, angry at your team’s lacklustre performances, shoddy tactics and boring formation. How to protest? Live in a tree for a week, obviously. Armed with a bag of bananas and identified only as Roberto, our passionate aficionado scaled a timber outside the club’s stadium in 2003, tied himself to it and refused to come down until the team agreed to a more attractive style.
There he stayed for seven full days, despite Corinthians players hurling abuse and rotten fruit. “The players kept sticking their fingers up at me,” Roberto moaned. He retaliated with discarded banana skins.
4. “Go and get the machete, lads!”
In 2003, Swaziland scraped a disappointing draw in a World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde. As the squad prepared to leave the ground on their team coach, a fan mob armed with baseball bats surrounded the bus.
The players promptly hopped off to confront the furious gaggle of supporters and pulled out their own array of weapons, before police quickly dispersed them. “We wouldn’t have used the bats – we just wanted to make a point,” claimed one fan. Yeah, right.