For the first time since that acid 2-0 defeat against Brazil at the world cup 2002 watch the Red Devils the Seleçao again in the eyes. Time to deal with that trauma.
We write 17 June 2002. In the eighth finals of the world cup in Japan and South Korea is Belgium vs. Brazil. The Red Devils play well against the toernooifavoriet and after 35 minutes of play even on a lead, thanks to a kopbaldoelpunt of Marc Wilmots. Mad joy by the Belgian fans, the Jamaican referee Peter Prendergast and he disapproves because of a slight duwfout of the Belgian captain on Roque Junior. However, it had no commentator, spectator or player an error is seen. Belgium loses the duel end with 2-0, after goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo. The Brazilians punches to the finals and win against Germany.
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For many fans never really processed the trauma. Especially since Prendergast, his whistle in the meantime, long has stored, in Gazet van Antwerpen a few years ago said that he that goal again today would disapprove of. ‘The push of Wilmots happened before he and Roque Junior in the air went away, and is on the tv-images are not to be seen, but he was there. It was, perhaps, to a slight push, but a push is a push,’ as he defended his decision. Prendergast also denied that he, during the peace his mistake, has admitted to Wilmots, such as the former national coach claimed.
With the former national team lived the idea that there is then much more was possible. Ex-Red Devil, Jacky Peeters, on that WK hard play from Belgium, said in a report in Sport/Voetbalmagazine: ‘That world cup was one of the most beautiful moments in my career, but the harsh aftertaste I taste still. That will never go away. Always turns the question back: what if? Because we had Brazil can be beat, we were the better team. And if you know that the Brazil world cup finally wins, well… We were really growing into the tournament. Just like that with the Red Devils in Mexico ’86 happened. It started in our cups to play: we were the team of Japan 2002. But that dream has Prendergast are taken from us. Of the 23 boys who are in South Korea and Japan, there will be no one ever to have forgotten the name.’
This Friday is, after sixteen years, finally time for revenge. Appointment at 20 o’clock Belgian time, in Kazan.
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