The Most Controversial Moment in the English Premier League’s History
Most sports can get exciting, especially when there’s a lot of competition involved. The English Premier League (EPL) is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) and most popular sporting leagues in the world, making for an incredibly entertaining viewing experience. There’s loads of competition, many loyal fans and some serious sporting talent across the board – the perfect recipe for a plethora of opinions across the board!
And just like in any sport, there’s also been a lot of controversy in the clubs over the years – sometimes to do with players’ behaviour, match results or refereeing decisions. And sometimes, the drama goes beyond the pitch!
Let’s have a look at some of the most contentious moments in Premier League history.
Suarez’s Racial Abuse: Liverpool Vs. Manchester United (2011)
In 2011, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was involved in a racial abuse controversy with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Suarez was awarded a whopping eight-match ban as well as a fine for his behaviour. In addition to that, the unfortunate incident left a lasting mark on the league and the teams involved and had a significant effect on efforts made by leaders in the sport to combat racial discrimination.
The “Battle of Old Trafford”: Arsenal Vs. Manchester United (2003)
One of the most famous incidents in the history of the league took place in 2003 during a match between Manchester United and Arsenal.
Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane exchanged words which led to a brawl with players from both teams involved. Both Keane and Vieira were sent off the field and awarded fines and suspensions for their conduct on the field.
The “Beach Ball” Goal: Sunderland Vs. Liverpool (2009)
2009 saw one of the most bizarre occurrences in the history of the league when a beach ball was thrown onto the pitch by a fan during a match between Sunderland and Liverpool. The ball deflected a Liverpool shot into their own net, which led to a goal. Shockingly, the goal was allowed, much to Liverpool’s dismay, and this bizarre incident led to lots of questions about the rules of sport and how they ought to be applied to unforeseen circumstances like this.
Leicester City’s “Great Escape” (2015)
Leicester City managed to escape relegation in the 2014-2015 season, to the shock of many EPL fans. Their late-season resurgence raised suspicions about other teams’ efforts in matches against the Foxes, which prompted allegations of match fixing. Unlike when playing online pokies at trusted sites, there was no way to prove the game was or wasn’t thrown, which is a pity, as suspicions have lingered ever since
Tevez’s Transfer Saga: Westham United (2007)
In 2007, the transfer of Carlos Tevez to Westham United was shrouded in shock and controversy. Westham’s survival in the Premier League ended up coming down to the wire, and it ended up being revealed that they had breached rules regarding third-party ownership. In the end, the club was awarded a pretty hefty fine, and Carlos Tevez ended up moving to Manchester United, a club that ended up being far more successful in the long run.