Refereeing Howlers at FIFA World Cup

Controversy reigned in this FIFA World Cup in South Africa as refereeing howlers has renewed calls by football fans to introduce video technology to assist referees and review their decisions. This World Cup has seen so many refereeing bloopers, here is the list:

Argentina 3, Mexico 1: In this second-round game, the opener goal in the 26th minute by Argentina striker Carlos Tevez was yards offside. After the replay flashed up on the big screen angry Mexico players surrounded the Italian referee Roberto Rosetti and linesman Stefano Ayroldi but the goal stood despite the protest.

Germany 4, England 1: In the 38th minute of the second-round game, with England behind 2-1, Lampard sent a shot off the crossbar. The ball came straight down at least a foot inside the goal line, but referee Jorge Larrionda waved play to continue. Television replays confirmed the ball was in the net.

United States 2, Slovenia 2: In this Group C game moments after the Americans tied the score in the first round, Landon Donovan took a free kick from the side of the penalty area in the 85th minute as players jostled in front. Maurice Edu spun away from Bojan Jokic and, one step into the 6-yard box, stuck out his left foot and put the ball in. But referee Koman Coulibaly had whistled play dead for a foul. He never explained who on the U.S. team did what.

United States 1, Algeria 0: In the final Group C game, Clint Dempsey scored in the 21st minute off the rebound of Herculez Gomez’s shot. But the goal was called offside by the Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere. Again, replays indicated Dempsey was in a fair position.

Mexico 2, France 0: In a first-round Group A match, Javier Hernandez ran onto Rafael Marquez’s pass as the France defense stopped, believing Hernandez was offside. He dribbled around goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before guiding the ball home to give Mexico a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute. Television replays showed that Hernandez was in an offside position.

Brazil 3, Ivory Coast 1: In this Group G match Brazil striker Luis Fabiano handled the ball twice as he juggled it past two Ivory Coast defenders before scoring for a 2-0 lead in a 3-1 group win that secured advancement for the Brazilians. The referee later came over and patted his own upper right arm.

Slovakia 3, Italy 2: In this Group F match Fabio Quagliarella thought he scored a late equalizer for Italy — the loss eliminated the defending champions in the group stage — but he was ruled offside by the smallest of margins, a ruling that was disputed by the Italians and appeared to be an error on replays.

Ghana 1, Australia 1: In this Group D match Aussie forward Harry Kewell was sent off in the 24th minute after blocking a goal-bound shot with his upper arm. The arm was pinned against his body, but Swiss referee Roberto Rosetti showed Kewell the red card in the first-round match.

In 1986 World Cup Maradona was coyly evasive and cheeky to describe the handling of the ball in the crucial match against England as “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.” Maradona later said, “I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me, and no one came… I told them, ‘Come hug me, or the referee isn’t going to allow it.’  English felt that they had been cheated out of a possible World Cup victory and the angry British press later coined the phrase “Hand of God”.

Even in this World Cup play off against Ireland, in Paris, last month, saw France striker Thierry Henry’s handling the ball in the buildup to France’s crucial goal that saw the French secure their place in the finals in South Africa. But refereeing bloopers have come to all time high, this 2010 World Cup Final.

Wake up FIFA.

Photo: Courtesy Getty Images

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