Action from The Battle Of Berne
The Battle Of Berne
The Battle of Berne is used to refer to a match at the 1954 World Cup between Hungary and Brazil, a quarter-final played on 27 June 1954 at the Wankdorf Stadium in Berne, Switzerland.
Violent conduct and fighting prompted English referee Arthur Ellis to send off three players during the match. Fighting between the teams continued in the dressing rooms after the final whistle.
Brazil had scored six goals in two group games, and Hungary had scored 17. Brazil had a reputation for attractive and attacking football; in their group games, they beat Mexico 5–0, and drew the other 1–1 with Yugoslavia after extra time. Yugoslavia had beaten France 1–0 in their other group game, which meant that both Brazil and Yugoslavia were equal on points in their group. Goal difference was not used to decide who finished top of the group; instead, lots were drawn, with Brazil being elected group winners. Hungary had revolutionized football tactics and coaching in Europe. Their fluid and open style of play – an early form of total football – meant that they were unbeaten for the previous 4 years. Hungary were clear winners of their group, winning both of their group games – they beat South Korea 9–0, and West Germany 8–3.
The match was played in driving rain, producing slippery conditions and a hard to control ball. Hungary took the lead in the third minute, with Nándor Hidegkuti scoring. Four minutes later, Sándor Kocsis made it 2–0 to Hungary. Brazil was awarded a penalty; Djalma Santos scored to make it 2–1 at half time.
In the second half, Hungary was awarded a penalty; Mihály Lantos scored to make the score 3–1. The penalty award was the cue for a pitch invasion by Brazilian journalists and officials, who had to be ushered off by police. The game then degenerated into a series of increasingly violent fouls and cynical tactics, with Brazilian forward Julinho somehow scoring to bring the score to 3–2. After this, József Bozsik was fouled by Nilton Santos; the two men started fighting, and both were sent off. Hungary scored a fourth goal via Sándor Kocsis to make the score 4–2 to Hungary. The last moments of the game was little more than a running battle between the two teams; Brazilian forward Humberto Tozzi kicked Hungary's Gyula Lorant prior to the final whistle and was sent off.
In total, 42 free kicks and 2 penalties were awarded, with 4 cautions and 3 dismissals issued.
The ill-temper continued after the game, with the Brazilian players invading the Hungarian dressing room and continuing the on-pitch fighting. Despite evidence from independent witnesses of violent conduct from both sides, football's governing body FIFA did nothing, leaving discipline to the respective countries.