The performances of referees in football is always an area that courts controversy, and even in the seasons prior to the introduction of the questionable VAR system, the acts of certain officials were brought under the microscope and caused anger and disbelief amongst fans.
The decade from 2000 to 2009 caused names such as Graham Poll, Tom Henning Ovrebo and Urs Meier enter the football lexicon for all of the wrong reasons, and unfortunately, we’ve seen referees put on performances just as bad during the decade from 2010 to 2019.
Here are 5 of the worst refereeing performances of the last decade (2010-2019).
1. Andre Marriner – Chelsea vs. Arsenal (2014)
Every now and then, the world of football is stunned by a refereeing mistake so bad that it almost seems surreal; think Graham Poll awarding Josip Simunic three yellow cards during the 2006 World Cup, for instance. 2014 saw one of those huge mistakes from Premier League referee Andre Marriner during Chelsea’s 6-0 win over London rivals Arsenal.
With Chelsea already 2-0 up thanks to a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, Eden Hazard looked to add a third, shooting beyond the dive of Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny, only for midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to decide to turn goalkeeper himself, turning the ball around the post with an outstretched hand.
Referee Marriner quite rightly awarded the Blues a penalty, but instead of sending Chamberlain off, a bizarre case of mistaken identity saw him instead show defender Kieran Gibbs the red card, despite the protestations of his Gunners teammates, including the guilty Chamberlain.
Quite what Marriner was thinking, we’ll probably never know. Marriner later apologised for the error – but not before he was thoroughly condemned by former ref Clive Thomas, who labelled it “the most disgusting and shocking decision” he’d ever seen.