Referees are tasked with calling the shots in terms of officiating and upholding the football rule book. They also have the daunting task of maintaining order when things get heated between players. The power vested in referees enable them to make game-changing decisions such as giving penalties and issuing of red cards.
It is expected that referees will always make the right calls despite being only human. It is this fact that informed FIFA's decision to introduce video technology that would assist referees in key match moments.
In the course of football history, some referees have made contentious decisions that left fans in disbelief. These five instances proved to be the wrong call made by the centre referees.
#6 Cuadrado red card against Real Madrid (2017)
Colombian Juan Cuadrado was a victim of poor officiating on June 3, 2017, when Juventus faced Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final. He had come on as a 66th-minute substitute as Juventus trailed 3-1 in the match. Within six minutes of entering the field, Cuadrado was booked.
In the 83rd minute, Cuadrado was locked in a tussle with Sergio Ramos on the right wing. The Colombian was eager to get the game going as he contested the ball. The referee could only have sent him off for what appeared to be a faint stomp on Ramos or the kind of contact associated with a player eager to avoid time-wasting by their opponents.
Ramos, traditionally known to be the offender theatrically threw himself to the ground in what was a clever tactic. German referee Felix Brych sent Cuadrado off in what was a nightmare 18 minutes for the winger.