6 Times the Referee Was Incredibly Wrong

6 Times the Referee Was Incredibly Wrong

Referring is one important role that every football fan relies on, but very few if any envy. It’s a much-maligned position that attracts castigation, controversy, and criticism nearly every week with very little reward in return.

A.S Roma’s new coach, Jose Mourinho is one who doesn’t shy away from criticizing the decisions made by the men in black.

For example, there was an incident in Manchester where Tottenham played against the premier league title rivals Manchester United that ended in the farce after the referee, Mark Clattenburg allowed Nani to score despite the clear handball.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the times when the referee was incredibly wrong.

The Goal That Shouldn’t Have

Perhaps it’s fitting that the first mistake goes to Clattenburg, who most likely will never be invited to Tottenham’s dinner.

Clattenburg has over the years built his referring career to become one of the best referees in the premier league despite Nani’s incident and another major mistake in a game at Old Trafford.

At the age of 30, Clattenburg was the youngest player to make it to the FIFA international list, but in 2005, Tottenham fans vilified him after he failed to spot Pendo Mendes speculative long shot that bounced off the goalkeeper’s chest and crossed the goal line.

The goalkeeper scrambled into his net and shovelled the ball back from the goal line into the field and the game ended in a goalless draw.

A Quick Half

Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder, a German referee secured a place in the notoriety tales with some erratic behaviour in a match between Hannover 96 and Werder Bremen back in 1975.

The referee mistakenly blew the halftime whistle at only 29 minutes into the game before the linesman pointed out the error.

The Ghost Penalty

Until December 2008, Emerson Acuna was only known in his native Columbia. It was in 2008 when Acuna pulled what many think is the most outrageous referees’ mistakes in the history of football.

The athletic Junior player flung to the ground despite being meters away from the opposing team’s players.

As if that wasn’t enough, the referee surprised everyone who saw that happen after he awarded a penalty despite having clearly seen that Acuna had dived and the home team converted the penalty and went ahead to win 2-0.

Fabiano’s Double Handball

Stephane Lannoy, a French referee was left flabbergasted after he allowed Luis Fabiano’s double handball before the striker netted his second goal for Brazil to win over Ivory Coast in the 2010 world cup.

The referee was then seen laughing with the Brazilian striker when he asked Fabiano how he had managed to control the ball.

3 Yellow Cards Equal To One Red Card

Graham Poll, an English referee made a major error in Croatia’s 2-2 draw with Australia. Graham booked Josip Simunic after 60 minutes and again in the 90th minute, but then forgot to send him out of the field of play. He had time to rectify the mistake when he booked Simunic again during injury time.

A Thorny Problem

Les Mottram made a mistake when he was awarded the goal after the shot by Patrick Connolly; Dundee United’s player rebounded from the net into the arms of another player who then handed the ball to their team’s goalkeeper. Mottram missed all that and didn’t even notice the handball.


Gallagher, D. (2021, February 3). Ref watch: David Luiz was right to be sent off but Mike dean got it wrong at Old Trafford, says Dermot Gallagher. Sky Sports. https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/12207425/ref-watch-david-luiz-was-right-to-be-sent-off-but-mike-dean-got-it-wrong-at-old-trafford-says-dermot-gallagher

Man Utd victims of ‘wrong decisions’. (n.d.). BBC Sport. https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/55893555

World Cup 2010: Diego maradona – Luis Fabiano did a ‘double handball’. (2018, January 3). the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2010/jun/21/diego-maradona-luis-fabiano-handball


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