Top 5 Refereeing Decisions that Shook the World

Siddharth Nair
|Published July 26, 2016

Refrees have a hard time as it is during matches. The intense pressure that they are put under by the players as well as the crowd makes their job a very tough one indeed. Every once in a while there are some refereeing decisions that have massive consequences. Here are some of the most infamous refereeing decisions of all time.

5) Andre Marriner – Keiran Gibbs Red Card vs Chelsea 2014


The case of mistaken identity is not a very common mistake that happens in football. But when Arsenal visited Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Andre Marriner managed to succeed in one of the biggest goof ups in recent memory.

Eden Hazard took a shot at goal which was blocked by Alex Oxalde Chamberlien by his hand. A certain red card. Only it was not the Ox that was sent off but his Arsenal collegue, Keiran Gibbs !

In a bizarre turn of events, television cameras caught Alex telling Marriner that it was him but the ref refused to change his decision. Arsene Wenger was managing his 1000th game for Arsenal and even he was at a loss to explain what was going on the pitch.What was Marriner thinking?

Only Andre Marriner knows what he was thinking when he made one of the biggest howlers among refereeing decisions !

4) Martin Hansson – Thiery Henry handball vs Northern Ireland 2009


Most refereeing decisions do not lead to massive consequences for the team. Only this was not a normal instance.

In a World Cup qualifying match, France scored the crucial goal in the tie which took them to South Africa but not before Henry clearly handled the ball before knocking the ball in to the goalscorer’s path.

Northern Ireland were absolutely disgusted by the decision and they had plenty of support from the footballing world. Henry himself admitted after the match that he handled the ball and offered the possibility of re-playing the match.

FIFA did not agree though and the result stood. The way the World Cup turned out for France in South Africa, they must wish they never went there in the first place.

3) Jorge Larrionda – Frank Lampard disallowed goal vs Germany 2010


England had just come back in to the match through a Upon header. 2-1!

With 35 minutes played England had their tails up and were looking for a quick second goal which would level up the Round of 16 clash against arch rivals Germany.

Then Lampard lobs Neuer from the edge of the box and English fans erupted. Neuer clears the ball with guilt written large over his face. 2-2!

Only Jorge Larrionda did not think so. TV replays showed that the ball had crossed the line by a good few yards and England felt robbed. Germany eventually went on to win 4-1, but there is no doubt that the match would have turned on it’s head had Lampard’s goal stood.

FIFA were left red faced as they had refused the proposal of goal line technology prior the World Cup. It came to small consolation for English fans all over the world, but this incident was the spark that allowed goal line technology to be employed all over the world.

2) Tom Ovrebo – Denied Chelsea’s penalty claims against Barcelona 2009


The tie was at a knife edge when Chelsea hosted Barcelona in the second leg of the 2009 Champions League semi final.

Chelsea had taken the lead through a Micheal Essien wonder goal early in the match. History will tell you that Andres Iniesta score a last minute away goal for Barcelona to took them in to the Champions final.

But Chelsea fans will never forget what happened prior to Iniesta’s goal. Penalty claim after penalty claim was refused for no apparent reason. Pique openly handled the ball in the penalty box and no penalty was given.

Drogba was dragged down by his shirt in the penalty box and nothing was given. Even after Iniesta scored, Ballack smashed a volley up against Eto’s elbow in the penalty box and no penalty was given.

Drogba used expletive language post match towards the TV monitors as the Chelsea players completely lost their heads against Tom Ovrebo. A Sad night at the Bridge indeed due to some bad refereeing decisions.

1) Ali Bin Nasser – Diego Maradona’s  Hand of God vs England 1986


Arguably the most famous refereeing mistake of all time, Maradona’s Hand of God is the stuff of legends.

In the knockout match in 1986 World Cup, Argentina took on England in a highly charged encounter in New Mexico. While the match will be remembered for Maradona’s epic solo goal from the halfway line, the Hand of God is famous in it;s own right.

As the ball lobbed towards the giant Peter Shilton, he was expecting to catch it quite easily. Only Maradona had other ideas. He lept up in the air and punched the ball out of Shilton’s reach and into the open net.

In one of the most iconic moments on World Cup history, Maradona’s Hand of God goal will live long in the memory of football fans all over the world.

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