10 Controversial Scandals in Football

Football is the world’s most-watched sport. A sport that attracts attention and generates money also has a fair share of controversial scandals. Some footballers never have a controversy in their career and can be role models for fans. Many footballers are involved in drug cases, betting, gambling, and corruption. Such players are the source who defames the country, club, and organization to which they belong. In this article, we discuss 10 controversial scandals in football. 

Italian Football Betting Scandal

Italian Football has gone through many bad times. Recently, the details emerged that Italian Football is involved in betting scandals. The police have arrested 16 players for betting and match-fixing scandals. Many current and recent retired footballers are said to be part of the arrests.

The former Italian International and Lazio captain Signori and many others have also been arrested. The police will investigate further and aim to eradicate betting and fixing in Italian Football. This scandal became one of the top 10 Controversial Scandals in Football.

Paul Merson’s Drug Addiction

Paul Merson was one of Arsenal’s most talented and gifted players. He was like many other players, drug addicted and had gambling habits. He acclaimed in a press conference that he is addicted to cocaine and gambling. The club offered him help, and he got into rehabilitation for six weeks, but his cocaine addiction has tainted his career to some extent. This incident made Paul Merson one of the top 10 Controversial Scandals in Football.

However, when the leadership changed and Arses Wanger took over the club, Merson couldn’t last long and left soon after. Later on, Merson hinted that Wanger used to inject him drugs. The French manager refused to accept these allegations by using his track to not having a single player dismissed under him as evidence. 

Accrington Stanley vs Bury

One of the interesting incidence in 10 Controversial Scandals in Football was Accrington Stanley vs Bury. A League Two game between Accrington and Bury was found to be controversial. In 2009, the match attracted plenty of controversies as it exposed that four players from Accrington and one player from Bury were involved in betting. They betted that Bury would win. 

According to FA rules, players cannot bet that this team will win this match. They resulted in the suspension of all 5 players. This attracted attention, and the game ended in favor of Bury by 2-0; all players won the bet but faced serious consequences. 

Mark Bosnich’s Cocaine Addiction

The Australian keeper, Mark Bosnich, admitted that he was addicted to cocaine. He protested that he only started to take cocaine following his 9-month suspension from FA. Bosnich developed the $ 5,000-a-week addiction to cocaine. 

He mistook his father for a burglar and almost shot him when he was high on cocaine. That’s when he realized he had to change himself for others who were close to him. Bosnich took a long break in 2008 before returning to the Australian league. This issue became one of the top 10 Controversial Scandals in Football.

Rio Fernidand’s Missed Drug Test

Red Devils bought Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United’s defender, for a lot of money. On September 23, 2003, there was a drug test for all players, but Rio Ferdinand failed to attend the test, which led him to an eight-month ban from Football. Fernidand was ignorant, which is why he got banned from Football. This incident was a lesson for those who think that they can go for tests casually on their own will. However, Fernidand was offered to take the test a little later, which he refused and faced an eight-month ban. This failure of the Drug Test made it to the list of the top 10 Controversial Scandals in Football.

French Football’s Racism Scandal

France has a manager named Laurent Blanc. The incident happened in 2011, when during a meeting, the manager, Laurent Blanc, along with some other senior executives, came under fire for his Racist Comments on players. 

According to rumors, Blanc claimed that France only produces large, strong, and big Black athletic players rather than developing skilled players. However, many officials were shocked by this news but didn’t believe that Blanc was a Racist. 

Later, he apologized for his racist remarks and, fortunately, saved his position. He is also the manager of France’s National Football Team. Therefore, this issue became one of the top 10 Controversial Scandals in Football.

British Football Fixing Scandal

The two biggest clubs in England felt embarrassed when a fixture between Liver Pool and Manchester United was judged to be fixed. The inclusion of two big clubs of English clubs made this issue one of the top 10 controversial scandals in football. This fixing scandal happened in 1915. Manchester United won the match by 2-0. This win helped them avoid relegation, resulting in the relegation of Chelsea. 

However, the first division expanded, and Chelsea still needs to get the relegation. But the bad fortune of both clubs’ players, 4 from United and 3 from Liverpool, was that they were found guilty of match-fixing. After the FA investigation, these players were banned from Football for life. This scandal became one of the top 10 Controversial Scandals in Football.

Marseille (1933)

French Club Marseille was involved in a huge fixing controversy in 1993. They were involved in match-fixing to secure their position in the league. Marseille also approached some players from other clubs. The president of Marseille, Bernard Tapie, was found guilty of these allegations. Due to this scandal, the French club was stripped of their 1992-1993 

French league title and relegated to the second division. This scandal became one of the top 10 Controversial Scandals in Football. Due to Marseille’s scandal, French Football was badly affected, and it highlighted the lengths clubs could go to secure their positions in the tournaments. 

Wayne Rooney’s Relatives Arrested in Betting Scandal

One of the top 10 controversial scandals in football was when Wayne Rooney’s father and Uncle Richie were found guilty of betting on a Scottish game between Motherwell and Hearts. An investigation was carried out, and Wayne Rooney was questioned, which resulted in the arrest of his father and uncle. 

The irregular pattern of betting made several arrests in this case. Despite his close relations arrest, Rooney played a crucial match against Montenegro. In the end, he kicked a player to get a red card. Instead, he got himself suspended for the Euro Championship group stage matches. In the recent past, Wayne Rooney managed Birmingham City, but due to flop performances, Roony was sacked by Birmingham City. Check out the full list of sacking of Wayne Rooney from Birmingham City.

FIFA’s Bribery Scandal

This is one of the biggest scandals to hit the FIFA organization. FIFA members were found to be accused of corruption and have bid for 2018 and 2022, which shocked people. 

After an investigation, FIFA banned Muhammad Bin Hamam, the chief of Asia, and Jack Warner. The investigation revealed that both had taken bribes from Carrebian members who would vote for Muhammad Bin Haman to unseat Sepp Blatter. This incident was so big that he was one of the top 10 controversial scandals in football.


While Football is loved and celebrated worldwide, these 10 Controversial Scandals in Football serve as a reminder that the sport is not exempted from negative influences. From match-fixing to betting to racism, every controversy has left a permanent mark on the history of Football. The challenge for the football community is to take strict actions against corruption, betting, and drugs and ensure that Football remains a source of joy and unity for upcoming generations. 

Umair Basraa
Umair Basraa
Umair is a Passionate and skilled Content Writer with a focus on sports, boasting a versatile background in crafting engaging and informative articles. He Demonstrates a deep understanding of various sports, including Cricket, Football, Wrestling, UFC/MMA and Boxing. He is able to deliver captivating content that resonates with diverse audiences. Umair is Proficient in conducting thorough research, staying abreast of the latest sports trends, and producing high-quality, SEO-friendly content

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