The Worst Soccer Referee Mistakes of All Time

    Refereeing a soccer match – one of the toughest jobs to have. No replay assistance, just call what you see, if you’re able to. You’ve got linesman and assistants, but sometimes they actually make it worse. Here are a few of the finest examples of why we need TV assistance in the game, from Diego Maradona to Frank Lampard, here are the worst refereeing decisions ever made.

    Diego Maradona and the Hand of God

    Image: Source

    The 1986 World Cup in Mexcio, England vs Argentina in the quarter finals. A match that has produced two of the most famous and infamous goals in World Cup history. Diego Maradona, all 5’5 of him, was able to beat English goalkeeper Peter Shilton (6’1) and grab the opening goal. The whole world saw a hand ball. Only Tunisian referee, Ali Bin Nasser didn’t. He later excused himself due to hemorrhoid treatment. Maradona said after the match that the goal was scored a little with his head and a little with the hand of god. Bobby Robson, England’s manager, said it was scored by the ‘Hand of a Rascal’.

    Toni Schumacher Destroying Patrick Battiston

    Image: Source

    1982 World Cup, Semi Final between West Germany and France. The German keeper, Toni Shcumacher, “collided” with French defender Patrick Battiston who was running at goal. It is clearly seen the keeper has no intention of reaching the ball, and just crashed into Battiston. The referee didn’t even treat this as a foul. Battiston lost three teeth, hurt his vertebrae and fell into a short coma on the pitch. Schumacher made some controversial comments after the game, hearing Battiston lost three teeth – If that’s all that’s wrong with him, I’ll pay him the crowns. Years later he apologized.

    Ghost Goal Between Watford and Reading

    Referee Stuart Attwell made a huge mistake of taking his linesman, Nigal Bannister, word. In one of the weirdest refereeing decision seen in a long time, the linesman waved for a goal for some reason while the ball was kicked back into play around the goal line. Attwell allowed a goal that never was, not even close.

    Emerson Acuna and the Worst Dive in the History of the Game

    We’ve already shown this clip once in our Worst Soccer Dives in History post, but it fits this one like a glove. Referee Jose L Nino wasn’t watching the action probably when he award this bizarre penalty for a really bad dive, occurring a few feet away from any defender.

    Byron Moreno Screwing Italy in 2002

    Image: Source

    Did he fix the match? Was there a conspiracy against Italy so South Korea could advance to later stages in a World Cup they co-hosted? Ecuadorian Byron Moreno seemed to give South Korea gift after gift – a non existent penalty, disallowing an Italy goal and calling Francesco Totti for diving when there was a clear penalty. The South Koreans player a borderline violent game but hardly got any reprimanding from the ref. Italy cried conspiracy. FIFA president Sepp Blatter stated the linesman was a disaster in the game but there was no conspiracy. Moreno has recently been involved in Heroin smuggling, facing jail time in the United States. He also had many controversies and match fixing allegations related to him in the Ecuadorian league. There is also this video, which reviews every bad call in the match.

    Pedro Mendes and the Goal that Never Was

    There’s nothing new with Manchester United getting decisions going their way. One of the biggest in recent years was Pedro Mendes’ 50 meter ‘goal that never was’. Catching an awkwardly trotting-back Roy Carroll, Pedro Mendes’ shot bounced well over the goal line by at least a yard. Referee Mark Clattenburg and linesman Rob Lewis didn’t see what pretty much everyone did.

    Frank Lampard’s Goal That Never Was

    Image: Source

    While we’re at the subject of disallowed goals, I’m betting Frank Lampard’s goal that wasn’t allowed against Germany in the 2010 World Cup is still fresh in everyone’s memory. Uruguayan Jorge Larrionda missed out on something that seemed obvious on any television set or at the stadium – the ball was miles over the line. Larrinoda, a well respected referee in South America with tons of international experience, said after watching the replay ‘Oh my god‘. He admitted it was a huge mistake by the officiating crew.