Top 10 World Cup Refereeing Howlers
By Tom Gaunt
This was first published on Caught Offside
The World Cup is the biggest stage in world football and not only do players from all over the World come together to compete and perform but so do referees. With officials from every corner of the World you can expect some inconsistencies, however the decisions below are just outright ridiculous. This is a list of 10 of the worst refereeing mistakes in recent years. I have stuck to decisions that I have seen and have video evidence of, if you can think of anymore let me know.
10. Netherlands v Spain 2010 – Nigel De Jong Kung-Fu Kick
Howard Webb will probably want to forget the 2010 World cup final. It was supposed to be his finest hour but due to the Netherlands ugly tactics he was left with an impossible task. He brandished 14 yellow cards including a red for Jonny Heitinga, but he was actually very lenient letting Nigel De Jong commit what can only be described as a Kung-Fu kick on Xabi Alonso. If he had done that in the street he would be arrested, but Webb ultimately bottled it and just gave a yellow card.
9. Brazil v Scotland 1978 – Zico Disallowed Goal
Referee Clive Thomas was always known as a stickler for the rules, but in 1978 he possibly took it a little far. With seconds of the game remaining Brazil swung in a corner kick which Zico headed into the goal to win the match, or so he thought. Whilst the ball was in the air the referee had blown the full-time whistle and the goal was ruled out. The fact that the linesman made Brazil reposition the ball by the corner flag wasting valuable seconds made it all the worse. It did not matter in the end as Brazil went on to qualify, eventually going out on goal difference in phase two (when the world cup had a weird second league phase).
8. Argentina v Mexico 2010 – Carlos Tevez Offside Goal
Argentina may well have won this game 3-1 but the Tevez offside goal was the first and did make a big difference to the result. What made this decision so extraordinary is that it all happened fairly slowly, the linesman was perfectly placed to make the call and Carlos Tevez was not anywhere near being onside. In fact there were no players in between Tevez and the goal when the ball was kicked. He was a clear yard offside standing on his own. It is quite simply the worst decision I have seen at a World Cup, only the fact that it was not at a more crucial stage stops it from being higher up the list.
7. England v Germany 2010 – Frank Lampard Disallowed Goal
Everyone will remember how England were hammered 4-1 by Germany. The team who underperformed in every game of the tournament went out with their heads hung low. However maybe it could have been different. Having gone two goals down early on England fought back to reduce the deficit to one with an Upson header. With half-time looming Frank Lampard struck a looping shot from the edge of the box, it hit the bar bounced down, then bounced back up to hit the bar before it was scrambled to safety. In real-time it looked like it had crossed the line, in the replay it showed it was a yard over the line. Another terrible decision at the 2010 World Cup. That would have seen England go in to half-time at 2-2 and possibly with the psychological edge. Their lack of skill, fitness, intelligence and team spirit may well have seen them lose anyway but speculation is always fun.
6. Brazil v Turkey 2002 – Rivaldo Dive
Rivaldo is undoubtedly one of the best players of the last few decades, but in 2002 he really let himself down, and the referee played his part too. As Rivaldo took up his position ready to take a corner Hakan Unsal kicked the ball to him, fairly hard. The ball went about knee height and harmlessly bounced off the Brazilian. The apparent force of the leather ball filled with air threw Rivaldo to the floor clutching his face. The referee was fooled, and so to it seemed was the linesman stood two yards away with a perfect view of the incident. Unsal was given a red card. This referee’s actions may well have set a precedent for some of the play acting we see today which referee’s continue to be fooled by.
5. South Korea v Spain 2002 – Fernando Morientes Disallowed Goal
This could quite easily have been South Korea versus Italy as the refereeing was equally bad. Having already had two goals disallowed Spain went into extra-time. Joaquin broke down the right got to the byline and chipped the ball into the area, Morientes headed home, Goal! Not so fast. The linesman had flagged indicating the ball had gone out of play. This was quite simply a terrible decision as the ball was not even partly out. South Korea went on to win the game in a penalty shoot out.
4. Argentina v Germany 1990 – Rudi Voller Dive
It seems strange that Jurgen Klinsmann got such a reputation for diving when it was his strike partner Voller who did it so masterfully on Football’s biggest stage. I am sure German’s will have a slightly different viewpoint on this. With the game tied at 0-0 and heading for extra time (seems a lot of bad decisions are made at this point) Rudi Voller broke into the box. The Argentine defender planted his leg close to Voller but no contact was made, Voller saw his chance and fell to the ground and the Referee blew his whistle. Andreas Brehme stepped up to win the World Cup for Germany. It seems Argentina and Germany are the kings of controversy this time Germany came out on top.
3. England v Germany 1966 – Geoff Hurst Goal
I may be English but that does not mean I have lost my vision. For a goal to be given the WHOLE ball needs to cross the line, this quite simply did not happen in 1966. Did it affect the outcome? Who knows, but Germany got their revenge in 2010 so I guess we are even.
2. Argentina v England 1986 – Diego Maradona Hand of God
Probably the most famous of all controversial World Cup incidents, or perhaps that is just from an English perspective. Quite how referee Ali Bin Nasser did not spot the Argentine captain punch the ball we will never know, but he must have thought Maradona had quite a leap on him. Replays suggest the referee had a decent view of the incident which makes it all the more puzzling. Argentina went on to win 2-1 and the goal proved decisive.
1. France v Germany 1982 – Harald Schumacher Foul
With the game tied and heading towards extra time Michel Platini puts Patrick Battison through on goal. He gets top the ball seconds before the goal keeper Harald Schumacher and shoots wide. In what can only be described as an assault, Schumacher leaps into Battison knocking him out cold. Battison suffers three broken teeth and a damaged vertebra. Dutch referee Charles Corver decides to not even give a free kick, when Schumacher should have been sent off and facing a lengthy ban. Germany went on to win the match in a shoot out with Schumacher saving two penalties.
Posted on September 29, 2011, in *Tom Gaunt, Argentina, England, Germany, Referees, World Cup and tagged 2010 FIFA World Cup, Ali Bin Nasser, Andreas Brehme, Argentina, Brazil, Charles Corver, Clive Thomas, Diego Maradona, England, Frank Lampard, Geoff Hurst, Germany, Harald Schumacher, Howard Webb, Italy, Michel Platini, South Korea, World Cup. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.