Three awful refereeing decisions that should not be forgotten

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Match officials get a hard time. They have a tough, thankless job -particularly with the pace of football today. 

It is easy to criticise decisions with the benefit of video analysis and replays, and it’s easy to forget that the referees and linesmen themselves must make a split-second judgement call.

Mike Dean has come in for a hard time for his officiating during the Chelsea vs Arsenal game last weekend. However, there have been far worse performances than his.


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Sometimes the men with the whistle get it horribly, inexcusably wrong. Here are five such times.

The Pedro Mendes ‘goal’ (Jan 4 2005)

Man United and Spurs were playing out a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, with 89 minutes on the clock, when Pedro Mendes attempted to lob Roy Carroll from all of fifty yards. 

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Carroll then inexplicably dropped the ball into his own net, before trying to desperately scoop it out futilely.

However, both referee Mark Clattenburg and his assistant Rob Lewis failed to realise that the ball was two feet behind the line when Carroll scooped it out, and the goal failed to stand, much to the consternation of Spurs and the travelling support.

Unfortunately for Spurs, the match officials made an even bigger blunder than Roy Carroll that night.

Josip Simunic booked three times (2006 World Cup)

Graham Poll must still be having nightmares about Croatia vs Australia. The English referee was officiating this final group tie in the 2006 world cup. 

The game ended 2-2, but will be forever remembered, thanks to a painful mistake from Poll. 

Poll booked Croatian left full Josip Simunic twice, but incredibly, failed to send him off. 

In fact, it was only after the game that Poll sent Simunic off, after booking him a third time for dissent.

Poll enjoyed a successful career as a highly regarded referee, but I’m sure he still grimaces at the memory of this game.

Lampard’s goal not given (England vs Germany, 2010)

Another World Cup blunder, and one that has had a lasting impact. England were trailing Germany 2-1. 

Frank Lampard smashed a shot from 20 yards, which hit the underside of the crossbar, and clearly bounced over the line.

Controversially, neither referee Jorge Larrionda nor his linesmen awarded the goal, and Germany went on to achieve a comfortable 4-1 victory. 

Larrionda did not referee another world cup game, and his failure to award the goal was the catalyst to introduce goal-line technology.

Can you remember any other gaffes from match officials? Post your comments below.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Pedro Mendes
Frank Lampard

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