José BATISTA clocks up the fastest ever sending off

On June 13 in World Cup history: Uruguay's Jose Batista gets fastest red card in the Mexico City suburb of Nezahualcoyotl in 1986. Jose Batista was shown a red card inside the first minute in a group match against Alex Ferguson's Scotland after he scythed down midfielder Gordon Strachan. His dismissal by French referee Joel Quiniou remains the fastest in World Cup history. Despite the one-man advantage for nearly the whole match, the game ended 0-0 and Scotland was eliminated. Batista was never considered a violent player, so much so that a coach in Argentina once asked him if he was the only Uruguayan who did not kick people. Ironically though, he is remembered around the world for a single tackle, one that earned him the fastest-ever red card in the history of the World Cup. Just before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, José Batista told to the media his famous red card with his own words : “There was a long ball three quarters of the way up the pitch and I’m at left-back, so I come across, much faster than him, to cut the ball off. I don’t remember the Scottish guy’s name.” Informed by the journalist that the opposing player was Gordon Strachan, Batista continued: “That’s it ! So Strachan wasn’t going to get there. I got there before him. He pulled his foot back, but I brought him down with my left foot and hip. I thought he was going to bring me down, that he was about to go in hard. But I didn’t go in and chop him down with both legs. I went in and we just came together.”
There were only 38 seconds on the clock and the man who is now Scotland’s head coach was left writhing on the floor. “I made sure that when I got hit I didn’t have my foot planted on the ground, so it wasn’t as bad as it might have been,” Strachan later told The Telegraph. “As soon as the game started Batista walked up to me and I thought: ‘Aw naw, here we go!’ But I didn’t expect it quite so early.”. José Batista kept his point of view : “Uruguayan players have always been in your face, but today you see players treading on each other, and elbows and headbutts. We were aggressive and strong but we didn’t go out there with bad intentions. At the most, I should have got a yellow,” he continued. “You watch it 20 times and while it was a strong tackle, it’s only a yellow card. I’d have expected a yellow for far worse and then I’d have been in danger of getting a red for the rest of the game. But I didn’t expect to get sent off just like that. I watch it again today and it’s still not clear to me. I’d like to be able to get a better view of it, to be in a position to change my opinion and say: ‘Yes, the referee was right’.”  

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