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5 instances of bad refereeing influencing the outcome of a game

Scott Newman
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Frank Lampard's shot beat Manuel Neuer - but was unfairly disallowed by the referee
Frank Lampard's shot beat Manuel Neuer - but was unfairly disallowed by the referee

While there’s been plenty of debate about the merits of VAR – video assistant referees – recently, the bottom line remains the same: a bad call from a referee can change the outcome of a football match entirely.

Over the years there have been plenty of bad calls from referees – some when the very highest of stakes were on the line – and if they’d made a different decision, then who knows what could’ve happened? Here are five instances where bad refereeing calls clearly affected the outcome of a big game.

#1 England vs. Germany, World Cup 2010

England’s ageing ‘Golden Generation’ found themselves in trouble early in their 2010 World Cup second round tie with their old rivals Germany, as the younger, more fleet-footed German side had cut through their defence twice, going into a two-goal lead thanks to Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski.

Refusing to give in, though, Fabio Capello’s men bounced back when Matthew Upson headed a Steven Gerrard cross home eight minutes before half-time. Suddenly the tide appeared to have turned, and with England in the ascendancy, Frank Lampard fired a shot from the edge of the box that looped over German keeper Manuel Neuer and into the net – before bouncing back into Neuer’s hands.

Somehow though, the referee made the call that the ball had not crossed the line – despite video replays confirming that it had landed way over the line before bouncing back. The decision deflated England, who went on to a second-half collapse, eventually losing 4-1. But would that have been the case had Lampard’s goal been allowed?

Perhaps not – England would’ve gone into the second half with their tails up, while Germany would’ve been deflated having gone from 2-0 up to being pegged back to 2-2. England would never have had to attack so heavily – leaving themselves open for counters – and who knows what could’ve happened?

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Scott Newman
UK based, big follower of football and MMA. Tottenham and England fan for life!
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