FIFA World Cup: Mexico, 1970
- El Salvador & Honduras broke into a war because of a clash in the 1970 qualifying competition. In between the three qualifying matches between El Salvador and arch-rival neighbors Honduras in 1969, there were riots & killings among the fans. A war finally broke out between the two countries in July 1969. Thousands of people were killed or injured. Historians call this 'The War of Soccer'.
- Zambia and Sudan both won 4-2 at home in their 1970 qualifying play-off matches, though Sudan qualified for the next round due to scoring more goals in the second match. It was the first and only time that this weird deciding method was used in World Cup. Sudan progressed to the final qualifying round but were eliminated by Morocco.
- Bobby Moore was jailed in Colombia on his way to the tournament of Mexico 1970, accused of stealing a bracelet. It was believed that he was falsely accused by somebody who feared his appearance in the 1970 finals.
- The term 'group of death' first used in 1970. The term 'group of death' was used by the Mexican press to describe Group 3 of World Cup 1970, which consisted of England (reigning champions), Brazil (champions in 1958 & 1962), Czechoslovakia (finalists 1962) and Rumania. As a result, Rumania & Czechoslovakia 'died' in the first round while Brazil won all the matches and became champions.
- In Mexico's 4-0 win over El Salvador on 7 June 1970, one of the goals should have been disallowed, as an El Salvador's free kick was taken by a Mexican player. Shortly before halftime, a free kick was awarded to El Salvador near the touchline. Instead, a Mexican player took it, and passed the ball to his teammate Valdivia. To everyone's surprise, the Egyptian referee Hussain Kandil waved 'play on', Valdivia booted the ball into the net, and the goal was allowed. When their appeals were denied by the referee, the El Salvador players restarted the game by kicking the ball into the crowd!
- Alan Ball, deeply-disappointed after England's defeat in the 1970 Quarterfinals, threw his tournament medal out of his hotel bedroom window. Perhaps this tournament medal was worth nothing compared with his 1966 World Cup winner's medal. In 2005, at the age of 59, Alan Ball finally wanted to sell his winner's medal ‘in order to gain financial security’.
- Brazilian player Rivelino collapsed after beating Italy in the 1970 Final under the weight of the celebrations from Brazilian fans and had to be carried away on a stretcher.
- Jairzinho of Brazil scored in every match including the final (6 games).
- After the Jules Rimet trophy was paraded by the Brazilian players after the 1970 Final match, the top of the trophy disappeared. Brazilian reserve Davio retrieved the valuable gold top from a young spectator at the stadium exit. As a result, the new trophy was designed to have no top!
- The red and yellow card system was first used in the 1970 finals, though no players were sent-off in that finals. Only yellow cards were shown in the 1970 finals. The first red card was given to Carlos Caszely of Chile on 14 June 1974.
- Brazilian player Tostao give his 1970 World Cup winners' medal to his his surgeon. Tostao wished to express his gratitude to the American surgeon who had performed two operations on his eye before the 1970 finals.
World Cup Firsts
- The first substitution of a goalkeeper was Romania's Necula Raducanu who replaced Steve Adamache in a match against Brazil on 10 June 1970.
- The first player to receive a yellow card was Lovchev of the USSR in the 1970 opening match against Mexico on 31 May 1970.
- The first substitute to score a goal was
Mexico's Juan Basaguren in the match against El Salvador on 7 June 1970.
- The first time substitutes were used in World Cup finals matches was 1970. Before 1970, only injured players were allowed to be replaced.
- The first substitute in World Cup finals was Soviet player Anatoly Puzach who replaced Serebrannikov in the 1970 opening match against Mexico on 31 May 1970.