Six biggest blunders of referees in football after the blunder of an official at CAN 2021


Africa Cup of Nations referee Janny Sikazwe shocked viewers with a surreal blunder during Tunisia’s clash with Mali on Wednesday.

In extraordinary scenes, the Zambian official decided to blow the end of the match in the 85th minute, blowing the fans, managers and players alike.

He quickly realized his mistake and re-started the game, but sparked outrage when he finished the game too early once again, whistling 15 seconds before the 90th minute and allowing no downtime.

Unsurprisingly, the embarrassing blunder sparked outrage from Tunisia, who were down 1-0, before the two sides were recalled from the locker room to end an unforgettable match.

But while Sikazwe’s blunder was certainly one of the first we’ve seen of the genre, he’s certainly not the first referee to make some expensive and shady decisions on the big stage.

Chamberlain or Gibbs?

England referee Andre Marriner is one of the Premier League’s most respected officials, but even he made a shocking mistake once during a high-stakes London derby.

In a clash at Stamford Bridge between Arsenal and Chelsea in 2014, Eden Hazard’s strike was heroically repelled by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a save any keeper would have been proud of.

But rather than kick the Ox, now in Liverpool, he gave Kieran Gibbs his marching orders for an imaginary hand.

Fans and players alike were stunned when the left-back pleaded his innocence, but Marriner said nothing.

He finally realized his mistake and was quickly forced to apologize for confusing the two Arsenal players.

Lampard’s « phantom goal »

Germany’s 4-1 win over England at the 2010 World Cup ended in a dominating victory for Mannschaft, but a refereeing error cost England a crucial goal.

The Three Lions were down 2-1 but had the momentum in the round of 16, as Frank Lampard’s strike from the edge of the box hit the underside of the crossbar.

It was clear the ball had crossed the line, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer grabbed it and referee Jorge Larrionda validated the goal, to the disbelief of almost everyone in the stadium.

Germany took advantage and then demolished England, who felt there had been massive injustice as they suffered another famous defeat against their rivals.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been forced to apologize to the FA while Larrionda, along with assistant referees Maurcio Espinosa and Pablo Fandino, have been told they will no longer referee any matches in the competition.

Henri’s hand

France were on the verge of being knocked out of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup when Arsenal legend Thierry Henry committed one of the most devastating hands of all time.

The Republic of Ireland were leading France 1-0 in the return leg of the play-offs when a desperate Henry controlled Florent Malouda’s free kick with his hand in overtime.

The Frenchman patted him again just to make sure before passing through to William Gallas for the long-awaited goal.

Swedish referee Martin Hansson, however, somehow missed both touches and paid no heed to the Irish calls, validating the goal and thus ending their World Cup dreams.

Ireland’s request for revenge has been rejected, but they could at least find joy in the Blues who endure a scorching World Cup in South Africa marred by internal feuds and a shock exit in the group stage.

Triple yellow card

Referee Graham Poll made several serious mistakes during the 2006 World Cup in a game the Englishman will likely never experience.

Croatia faced Australia in the group stage in an otherwise unremarkable 2-2 draw, but Poll’s performance will remain one of the worst ever.

The official gave Croatian Josip Simunic his second yellow card of the game in the 90th minute, but forgot to send the defender off.

He waved a third yellow card for dissent when Simunic pushed him after the final whistle, before finally considering showing him a red.

The Englishman was dismissed from the tournament immediately after the group stages with his head bowed.

Chelsea vs Barcelona

Chelsea were clearly deprived of a victory in an infamous 2009 Champions League semi-final clash with Barcelona.

Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo made a number of shocking decisions, including failing to award several blatant penalties that would have allowed the Blues to advance to the final.

His poor performance infuriated a number of Chelsea players, before striker Didier Drogba launched a crass rant on live TV after the final whistle.

After seeing the footage of his errors in judgment, the Norwegian referee said: “I cannot be proud of this performance. It was a hand. I have judged her on the pitch and I think it is not interesting to know what I think of these actions once judged.

“I was responsible for the decisions that were made and we can say that, if I had made others, maybe Chelsea would have qualified for the final. We will never know. ”

God’s hand

No list of refereeing errors is complete without the legendary “hand of God” incident at the 1986 World Cup.

With the high-stakes quarter-final match between England and Argentina tied at 0-0 in the second half, the ball fell mid-air between Diego Maradona and goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

Any goalkeeper would have expected to beat the little striker towards the ball by simply catching it, but the Argentina captain had other ideas, creating a fist and kicking the ball towards the goal while giving the illusion of a head.

Tunisian referee Ali Bennaceur completely missed the incident and, after protests from the English players, consulted his assistant, who validated the goal.

Argentina won the game 2-1, eliminating England in a heartbreaking way.

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