The Rundown

Top 10 sporting protests

The Rundown

View gallery

football players will take to the pitch against Spain at Wembley on Saturday
with poppies embroidered on their black armbands in remembrance of the
servicemen who have given their lives for their country.

FIFA allowed
the addition of poppies as a compromise after a week of astonishing
protests involving everyone from Prince William to Jack Wilshere to David
Cameron. These even included - how best to put this? - a bunch of far-right Englishmen staging a demonstration
on the rooftop of FIFA's headquarters in Zurich

Such protests
in sport are far from unknown. Athletes and fans have long been united in their
ability to disrupt major sporting events in order to further their cause, whether
it's an effort to get an unpopular manager sacked or a desperate attempt to
politicise an iconic sporting occasion.

Here's our
pick of the top 10 sporting protests of all time.

 - - - - -

View gallery

10. Swiss fans launch tennis ball protest

Outraged FC
Basel and FC Luzern fans were so angry at a change to the kick-off time for
their match that they staged a protest by throwing thousands of
tennis balls on to the pitch.

A Swiss TV
company had engineered the early kick-off to allow them to broadcast both the
Swiss Super League match in Emmenbruecke and Roger Federer's final against
Novak Djokovic at the ATP Basel tennis tournament, with the football match
moved to 12.45pm to ensure that it would be finished in time for the tennis to
begin at 3pm.

prompted the fans of the two clubs - who occupy the top two spots in the Swiss
top flight - to protest their treatment with a flurry of tennis balls.

And, with
the pitch almost covered in them, the referee had no choice but to send the
players back to the dressing rooms.

But as soon
as they were cleared by stewards and security staff, the crafty fans began to
rain a second wave of balls on to the pitch - forcing a further delay at the
Sportanlage Gersag stadium.

When the
game was finally played, Basel fans were left celebrating an injury-time
equaliser that saw them rescue a point to remain top of the league - while in
the tennis, Federer beat Djokovic in three sets to win the title in front of
his hometown crowd for the fourth time in five years.

View gallery

9. Robbie Fowler backs the dockers

fast-living Liverpool striker showed his empathy with 500 sacked Merseyside dockers
when, after scoring a goal in a European Cup Winners' Cup match, he revealed a
t-shirt urging support for those who had lost their jobs.

fresh from a famous incident in which he had tried to have a penalty award in
his favour overturned, was fined around £1,000 by UEFA for making a political

8. Neil Horan protests end of world at British
Grand Prix and Athens Olympics

Irish Catholic priest Neil Horan hit the headlines twice in two years with two
of the most shocking invasions ever seen in the world of sport, both made in an
attempt to protest over general ignorance that the world was about to end.

In 2003 he
ran on to the track during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and just over
a year later he attacked Brazilian marathon runner Vanderlei de Lima just a
couple of miles from the end of the Olympic marathon race in Athens.

On both
occasions Horan was apparently trying to bring to general attention his belief
that the world was about to end.

In 2009 he
appeared on TV talent show 'Britain's Got Talent'.

View gallery

7. Darren Campbell refuses to take part in lap
of honour

The British
sprinter won gold as part of the European 4x100m team at the 2006 European
Championships in Sweden, but refused to celebrate with his team-mates due to
the inclusion of Dwain Chambers in the team.

had had to return a previous European gold and World silver relay medal when
Chambers was caught doping, and was furious that he had to run alongside him.

made my situation clear. I just can't take the rubbish any more," said
Campbell, who retired a few days later. "I'm not a hypocrite. How can I do
a lap of honour?"

6. Jeff Tarango's storm-off protest at

The American
became increasingly furious during his 1995 third-round match in the men's
singles at SW19 against Alexander Mronz when he felt umpire Bruno Rebeuh was
continually ruling in his opponent's favour. Eventually, after one call too
many, he stormed off the court yelling, "That's it, I'm not playing!"
before screaming "shut up!" at the crowd when they began booing him.
He was thrown out of the tournament, and his wife slapped Rebeuh at the
post-match press conference.

Tarango has
never admitted that he was at fault. "I think I was right but I regret the
way it went down," he said many years later. "Wimbledon is my be-all
and end-all tournament."

View gallery

5. Kuwaiti sheikh reverses referee's decision
at World Cup

protests at UEFA throwing them out of the Europa League might one day be in a top 10 such as this one, but until they're successful their spot goes to Kuwaiti FA
president Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

The Middle Eastern nation were applying themselves reasonably well in a World Cup match
against France in 1982, trailing just 3-1, but their players went
ballistic when midfielder Alain Giresse scored after the whistle had apparently

Russian referee
Miroslav Stupar awarded the goal despite Kuwait's protests, since the whistle
had actually come from the crowd - but Sheikh Fahad was having none of it. He
stormed out of the stands and on to the pitch, ordering his players back to the
dressing room until Stupar changed his decision.

When the
match finally restarted France scored again in any case to wrap up a 4-1 win - while
Stupar's spinelessness resulted in his refereeing credentials being revoked.

View gallery

4. Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz at the 1980 Olympics

The early
1980s saw the Olympic Games become one of the hottest potatoes in global
politics, with the United States boycotting the Moscow
Games, and the Soviets boycotting the Los Angeles Games in response four years

But the
most eye-catching protest at the 1980 Games came from within the Eastern Bloc
as Polish pole vaulter Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz celebrated securing gold at the
expense of home favourite Konstantin Volkov by making an 'up yours'
gesture at the crowd, who were booing him.

significance of the gesture - at a time when Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement
was furiously trying to move Poland away from the USSR - was clear for all to
see, and the photo made front pages around the world.

View gallery

3. Jimmy Jump protests racism at the 2010 World
Cup final

A legend
among Spanish pitch invaders, Jimmy Jump's anti-racism antics have taken him to
basketball, tennis, rugby and even the Eurovision Song Contest.

But his
greatest effort came just before the World Cup final kicked off in South Africa
when he ran on to the pitch to put a miniature red hat on to the World Cup

He did
incredibly well to get to the trophy, but was
quickly decked by a security guard with a deft throat chop.

2. The Black Power salute on the podium at the
1968 Olympics

seemed normal as American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos mounted the
podium to collect their 200m medals (gold and bronze respectively) at the 1968

View gallery

But as the
national anthem began to play, both men raised their fists in Black Power
salutes. Wearing a black glove each, black socks (without shoes) and black
beads, the pair staged a silent protest that could not have been heard more
clearly had it been announced via the stadium speakers.

"If I
win I am American, not a black American," explained Smith later. "But
if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we
are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did

The pair
were booed and thrown out of the team by US Olympic Committee president Doug
Roby; but the gesture became known as one of the most eloquent statements ever seen in the fight for racial equality.

The famous wearing of a single glove each came about by accident, incidentally. Smith forgot his pair of gloves, but Australian Peter Norman (pictured left) - who took the silver - suggested to the pair that one wear the right glove and the other the left.

View gallery

1. Emily Davison becomes suffragette martyr at
The Derby

political activist Emily Davison had fought for years to try to earn women the right to vote,
doing things such as planting a bomb in Lloyd George's Surrey house, hiding
overnight in the House of Commons and attempting suicide while being held in
Strangeways Prison.

But it was her
attempt to disrupt the 1913 Derby that made her globally famous. The
41-year-old ran on to the course during the famous horse race and was trampled
by the king's horse, Anmer, as it came round Tattenham Corner.

Her many injuries
included a fractured skull which proved fatal as she died four days later. Witnesses
at the time claimed that it was pure chance that she ended up in front of the
monarch's entrant, while a return rail ticket found in her pocket suggested
that suicide was never her plan - but her martyrdom shocked the world. Women were
given the vote soon after the end of the First World War.

View comments (0)