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6 of the biggest refereeing mistakes in World Cup history

  • Here is a list of six biggest refereeing mistakes in World Cup history.
Sagnik Kundu
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 27 Nov 2016, 01:58 IST
Lampard’s reaction after the disallowed goal

In the world of football, the person responsible for enforcing the laws of the game during the course of the match is called the referee.

But who in their right mind would want to be a referee?

It takes a lot of time and effort to learn all the rules of the game, to get your fitness up and after all that you have to run around the field for at least 90 minutes, all the 22 players, the two managers and hundreds of fans shouting at you, convinced that whatever decision you take is the wrong one.

Inevitably, fans have the right to be riled by every decision that goes against their team. Players and managers too? It seems all unfair for the referee. Except, obviously, when the referee is actually wrong. Then the referee gets what he deserves.

Everyone can make mistakes – after all, we are all human beings. But when these mistakes account for something big, like a legit goal ruled offside in the World Cup final, then you really have to face the heat.

On that note, here we list the six biggest refereeing mistakes in World Cup history.

#6 Frank Lampard's disallowed goal – Germany v England, 2010

A rampant German side were 2-1 up against England when a long-range effort from English midfielder Frank Lampard hit the underside of the bar and bounced a foot past the goal line before rebounding out.


The goal was not allowed as the officials judged that the ball had not crossed the line. However, later on, the linesman admitted that he could not judge because he was caught by the speed of the strike.

It was a pre-quarter final of the 2010 World Cup, and a goal at that juncture would have seen England draw level at 2-2. Mauricio Espinosa, the Uruguayan who was officiating the game, failed to perceive that Lampard’s shot had actually crossed the line.

England went on to lose the match 4-1 at Bloemfontein. Had the goal been allowed, the story could have been entirely different. However, the worldwide outcry following the incident led FIFA to announce the introduction of the goal-line technology.

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Published 26 Nov 2016, 15:43 IST
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