Fifa watch out! The two times the World Cup trophy was stolen
The story of football could not be imagined without Fifathe main event. Since he was born in 1930, and to be disputed in Qatar 2022the eyes of all the national teams in the world are fixed on world cup trophy, making it the most coveted statuette in the sports world. Could this treasure have been stolen? Surprisingly, yes.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy usually travels around the world to bring it closer to the fans who worship it. As the main football event changes location for each of the editions organized, its statuette does not have a stable life.
It is precisely this type of context that triggers the risk of facing a security contingency linked to the FIFA World Cup Trophy. These days, strong measures are taken to ensure and protect that the laurel will only be touched by authorized hands, however, it has not always been so.
How many times has the FIFA World Cup Trophy been stolen?
There have been twice as many occasions that the wrong hands have hit and taken the football community’s most prized treasure. Fortunately for the edition of the World Cup to be held in Qatar in 2022, these dark episodes happened many years ago. The current security measures for everything related to the main FIFA tournament are even exaggerated.
The very first time the FIFA World Cup prize was taken away from its carers was in 1966, exactly the main year it was to be contested in England. Then the second happened in 1983 in Brazilhowever, this one did not involve the statuette to be used to award the winner of the 1986 World Cup.
The first comic World Cup heist
The first theft suffered by the World Cup statuette dates back to January 1966 in London. For today’s lifestyle, the trophy theft plan may seem naive: just remove it from the display case it was displayed in.
The trophy was taken to the host country of the ninth edition of the World Cup and displayed at Central Hall Westminster. The only guard protecting him paused a little and left his place to get some coffee. However, when he returned, the statuette had disappeared.
London police began the search for the laurel but the hero was not supposed to be a human: a dog named Pickles found the Trophy when he was out by David Corbett, its owner, for a walk. During the tour, Pickles started snooping among the bushes in a private garden.
Corbett approached his dog when he noticed he had found a package covered in newspaper. When he opened it, he discovered it was the coveted FIFA World Cup trophy. Pickles owner received a significant economic reward for his invaluable assistance in solving the case.
Years later, a few facts about that flight have come to light. The British Football Association secretly ordered a replica of the trophy to be crafted in case the tournament date arrived and the original statuette could not be found.
The second fact is that in 2018, the DailyMirror published an article revealing the identity of the thief: his name was Sidney Cugullene a petty thief. After stealing the FIFA World Cup trophy, Cugullene got scared because of the media coverage of the theft and decided to throw away his loot, but still told the story to his loved ones with pride as he did. was “the very first Briton to lift the World Cup“.
The Second Flight of the World Cup: The Prequel to “Money theft“?
FIFA regulations had established that the national team capable of winning the World Cup three times could possess the trophy as a special reward. Brazil achieved the feat in the 1958, 1962 and 1970 editions, so they received the distinction.
Then the Jules Rimet Trophy was exhibited at the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in Rio de Janeiro, where a local businessman named Sergio Peralta saw him and noticed that the security protocol to protect him was not strong enough.
Peralta constructed a plan to steal the statuette which included the participation of a jeweler and a reducer: the choice was the Argentinian Juan Carlos Hernandez and two other assistants. It was clear that the Brazilian businessman’s plan was sophisticated.
The gang entered the CBF on December 19, 1983, and hid in one of its restrooms while waiting for the venue to close. After gagging the only security guard, the Peralta team dismantled the crystal box that was resting in a display case in which the FIFA World Cup trophy was and stole it.
The loot was taken to Hernandez’s jewelry where it was cut into pieces and melted down. According to police research, the thieves sold the precious metal and got $15,500. The only member of the gang who was caught was the Argentinian jeweler, in 1998, thanks to a whistleblower initially included in Peralta’s plan.
Almost a year later, the Kodak The company commissioned a replica of the stolen FIFA World Cup trophy and donated it to the Brazilian Football Confederation, which must have learned from its own mistake of not protecting its treasure well. Uruguayan El PaísThe account of this robbery even specifies that the CBF had a replica of the Trophy better protected in a safe than its original.
FIFA’s extreme security measures to prevent further theft of World Cup trophies
Since these episodes happened, FIFA decided that its new version of the World Cup Trophy, first awarded to the winner of the World Cup in 1974, would never leave its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Thus, the 2022 Qatar champion will receive a replica, like the twelve former winners of the main football tournament.