There has been a lot of chatter going about the number of penalty kicks being awarded and goals scored during 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The most notable misses were of Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. As the World Cup is about to enter the knockout phase, we bring you an incident wherein the team ended up losing the match but ended it by winning millions of hearts of sports’ fans across the globe!
In the year 2003, at one of the games between Denmark and Iran, the Danish team let go off a penalty kick, much to the delight of their opponents, amidst huge applause from the crowd. During the game, an Iranian player had handled the ball in the penalty area, after he mistook a whistle from the audience as referee’s half-time call.
The incident made the referee penalise them and award the Denmark team with a penalty kick. It was Danish player Morten Wieghorst who was set to take the penalty kick, going into the half-time. However, the team coach Morten Olsen signalled to have a word with Wieghorst.
After a brief consultation on the sidelines, Morten Wieghorst hit the penalty kick (football) away from the goal-post on purpose, in a mark of sportsmanship. The token of fair play showcased by Wieghorst saw his team, eventually, losing the match by 1-0.
Watch Iran vs Denmark 2003 Football Match Displaying Fair Play at its Best:
For his act, Morten Wieghorst was rewarded the Danish Player of the Year award in the year 2003. Not just that, the Danish player was also given an Olympic Committee Fair Play Award in the same year. Displaying sportsmanship when the only intent is to win the match is not everyone’s cup of tea. There have been moments in sports history where players and teams have lost the games, but won hearts. However, the act of sportsmanship shown by Morten Wieghorst will be remembered for a long time!