- Scotland's coach Jack Stein suffered a heart attack and died after Scotland's 1-1 tie in a qualifier against Wales on 10 September 1985. Alex Ferguson took over the job, and led Scotland to qualify for Mexico 1986.
- During a qualifying match against Ireland on 13 Nov 1985, Danish midfielder Soren Lerby left in the 58th minute as he had to catch a private jet to fly back to Germany to play, as a substitute, for his club Bayern Munich in a cup match on the same day. On that busy day, his country won 4-1 in Dublin while his club drew 1-1 in Bochum.
- Colombia was originally selected to host the 1986 World Cup after a well-fought battle. However, due to financial deficiency, Colombia was unable to improve the facilities to meet FIFA's requirement in time. Mexico, after beating other contenders including USA, replaced Colombia as the 1986 host country.
- A rooster, the symbol of the French team, was thrown onto the field by a fan during the match between France and Canada on 1 June, 1986. The rooster was dead when the referee removed it out of the pitch. France won the match 1-0.
- After a World Cup match on 8 June, 1986, Iraqi defender Barmeer Shaker was given a one-year suspension by FIFA for spitting at the referee. Iraq lost the match to Belgium 2-1.
- TV announcers were confused during a Second Round match on 18 June 1986 between England and Paraguay as there were two Gary Stevens on the English side. The two players, Gary Michael Stevens and Gary Andrew Stevens, were not related.
World Cup Firsts
- The first match where a coach was sent off was in 1986, with
Paraguayan coach being shown his marching orders. Paraguayan coach Cayetano Re was sent off during a First Round match against Belgium on 11 June 1986 because he was standing too close to the field.