It’s the 33rd anniversary of Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal, and therefore the perfect occasion for a quiz on controversies in sport

Game plan

1. In one of the most high-handed decisions ever taken by a match referee, six Indian cricketers were banned or given suspended bans during a Test match in Port Elizabeth in 2001. CSA and BCCI intervened and the next match was declared an unofficial test by the ICC after the referee was removed. Name him.

2. One of the most controversial F1 seasons in history was the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. Nelson Piquet Jr of Renault was accused of deliberately crashing in order to help his teammate win. Name his Renault colleague.

3. During the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, in which sport were six judges sent back and replaced midway through the competition after widespread accusations of corruption?

4. Which English fast bowler was accused of using Vaseline to alter the ball’s condition in a test match in India in 1977?

5. In the 1982 World Cup, a Kuwaiti sheikh, president of his football association, stepped on the pitch and actually had a goal disallowed against his team. Who was Kuwait playing against?

6. Who scored the famous ‘phantom goal’ for England against the German team in the 1966 World Cup final after the two teams were locked 2-2 in overtime?

7. The February 1965 heavyweight clash between Muhammed Ali and another boxer is one of the most controversial in history. Most in the audience did not see the hit that brought Ali’s opponent down and it’s been described in sports history as the “phantom punch”. Who was the other boxer, who had reportedly thrown the bout?

8. Against which team were the US leading 50-49 in the 1972 Olympic basketball final before the referee controversially added three seconds to the clock, allowing the other team to score and beat the US for the first time ever in basketball in the Olympics?

9. Eight members of which American baseball team were found to have deliberately underperformed in the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, leading to their defeat? A character in F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was based on a famous gambler who was believed to be behind the fixing.

10. What happened on the first ball of the third over of a Lords Test match in August 2010?


1. Mike Denness of England. Sehwag was the only player who finally served a one-match ban

2. Fernando Alonso, who won the race after starting 15th on the grid

3. Boxing

4. John Lever. He had ostensibly used the Vaseline to stop the sweat getting into his eyes

5. France. Kuwait lost 4-1 anyway

6. Geoff Hurst; the Soviet linesman Tofiq Bahramov ruled it a goal

7. Sonny Liston

8. The Soviet Union

9. The Chicago White Sox; the character of Meyer Wolfsheim was based on Arnold Rothstein

10. Mohammed Amir bowled a no-ball, as promised by match fixer Mazhar Majeed to News of the World reporters who had pretended to want to fix the match


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster; Twitter: @joybhattacharj