In 1974 a new trophy was introduced, three times winners Brazil having being allowed to keep the old Jules Rimet. This was another tournament that Mr Havelange believes was determined by anti South American bias.
As in 1954 it seems that the best team of the era failed at the final stage to become world champions.
Under the former Ajax and Barcelona coach Rinus Michels The Netherlands implemented total football.
In the final the English referee Jack Taylor bravely awarded a penalty to The Netherlands in the first minute. Maier , in picking the ball out of the net was the first German player to have a touch. West Germany rallied however to win 2-1, Gerd Muller getting the winner in the 43rd minute.
Unlucky Scotland were the only side not to lose at game at the 1974 finals. No other side has ever won a match, remained unbeaten yet made a first phase exit.
Many will remember this bizarre moment as Zaire’s Mwepu Ilunga dashed out of the defensive wall to hoof the ball away before a Brazilian free kick. Zaire was the first sub Saharan team to qualify for the finals, but their appearance was a catalogue of errors (seemingly typified by Mwepu’s rash action) that did little to enhance the image of African football.
Learning that they would not be paid, Zaire had put in a half hearted performance against Yugoslavia and duly lost 0-9. Following this match their president intervened.The team hotel was closed to all journalists and presidential guards were sent to ‘keep an eye’ on the team, who were menacingly told that if they lost 0-4 to Brazil they would not return home.Mwepu’s actions were born of fear following these threats.