- The decisions of the referee have a significant impact on the game, and common sense must be demonstrated on the field
- In 1986, Referee Ahmet Akcay diverted a shot from one of the Ankaragucu players in the net with his head in a match between Besiktas and Ankaragucu
- Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder, the drunk referee, attempted to blow the half-time whistle after only 32 minutes of play
Referees have one of the most challenging jobs in world football, as each of their decisions can significantly impact the game’s result and potentially the season.
Every referee must make difficult decisions and face criticism from players, managers, and fans at some point.
Best referees are those who can tolerate criticism and make the correct decision the majority of the time.
An official’s intuitions are critical to their decision-making, and there is always the risk of him making a serious mishap during a game.
Leeds vs West Brom (1970-71 Season)
Leeds United was near a title challenge when Ray Tinkler made a mysterious decision that cost them the game and, finally, the title.
The linesman flags West Brom’s Colin Suggett offside, and the Leeds defence came to a halt, but Tinkler allowed the game to continue, and Jeff Astle scores.
As a result, Leeds lost the Premier League title to Arsenal, leaving their coach and players heartbroken.
Thierry Henry’s Handball for France vs Ireland
With France on the verge of missing out on the 2010 World Cup, France striker Thierry Henry engaged in a blatant handball, allowing the country to qualify at the cost of Ireland, who was furious at the end of the game.
This incident tainted Henry’s image, and despite calls to replay the game, the decision stood, leaving Henry forever an enemy in the eyes of the Irish.
Frank Lampard’s Disallowed Goal in England vs German
The match between England and Germany was widely anticipated around the world. Even though Germany was the superior team in this 2010 World Cup match, the outcome could have been different if this goal had been awarded.
England came back from 2-0 down thanks to Steven Gerrard’s fantastic free-kick that found Matthew Upson.
Sometime later, Frank Lampard scored an entirely legal equaliser, but it is disallowed due to a poor decision by the linesman.
The ball bounced back, and the linesman inaccurately ruled that it had not crossed the line.
Nani’s Goal Against Tottenham
This is one of the oddest goals you’ll ever see. It is not due to a goalkeeper error but rather to a major blunder by the referee.
Nani clearly caught the ball, and the game should have been halted for handball. Heurelho Gomes placed the ball on the ground to kick it after referee Mark Clattenburg refused.
Nani capitalises on Clattenburg’s error by kicking the ball straight into the net, and the referee permits it to stand.
Referee Scored a Goal for Ankaragucu vs Besiktas
This was the most severe incident because it occurred in Turkey’s top division.
Referee Ahmet Akcay diverted a shot from one of the Ankaragucu players into the net with his head in a 1986 match between Besiktas and Ankaragucu.
Despite this, he awarded the goal, leaving the Besiktas players perplexed. Besiktas was defeated 1-0 in that game.
Robert Hoyzer’s Match-Fixing Scandal
German referee Robert Hoyzer was embroiled in a match-fixing scandal after accepting a bribe to ensure Hamburg’s elimination from the German Cup against lower league Paderborn.
Paderborn was trailing 2-0 when the referee awarded two penalties and dismissed a player, contributing to Hamburg’s defeat.
Hoyzer was bribed with flat-screen television and $56,000 in cash. He was eventually sentenced to two years and five months in prison.
The drunk Referee
Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder attempted to blow the half-time whistle during a 1975 game between Hannover and Werder Bremen, only 32 minutes of play in his third game as a referee.
The linesman stepped in, but Ahlenfelder only lasted 43 minutes and 30 seconds before sending the players in.
“We are men; we don’t drink Fanta,” he later admitted after getting drunk on beer and mulled wine before the game.
Diego Maradona’s Hand of God
Diego Maradona is one of the finest football players of all time, but this goal by the minuscule Argentine prodigy was clearly scored by his hand.
To add to the English’s frustration, he scored a fantastic goal, undoubtedly the best of the ’86 World Cup. It was seen that Maradona scored with his hand and the referee made the incorrect decision.
Maradona showed no emotion and called it the “Hand of God” to twist the knife in the English wounds.