Mistakes are part of sport of course. Without it, competition hardly makes sense. Referees often use different standards. The referee has to be flawless; in the opinion of many fans, the decisions must be flawless and, in the best case, in favor of their own club. This is of course total cheese and, to be honest, football would be countless stories and discussions poorer if there were no wrong decisions by referees. For that reason alone, at least I don’t need video evidence. Football was never fair, and it won’t be anymore – not even with video evidence. I would like to serve you a couple of these stories here. I put together the 5 most curious referee decisions for me.
5. Gascoigne steals a yellow card and receives the same
In 1995 England’s scandalous noodle Paul Gascoigne picked up the yellow card he had dropped during a game for the Glasgow Rangers and ran to referee Dougie Smith – the referee gave Gascoigne a very humorous warning. Certainly not a dramatic wrong decision, but an example of the referee’s lack of sensitivity.
4. Helmer’s ghost goal is Nuremberg’s undoing
It is the 32nd matchday of the 1993/94 Bundesliga season. Although Thomas Helmer (Bayern Munich) picks the ball past the Nuremberg box, referee Hans-Joachim Osmers, after consultation with his assistant Jörg Jabonski, surprisingly decides on goal FC Bayern. Nuremberg’s goalkeeper Andreas Köpke completely falls away from the belief, can not believe it. After 90 minutes the club lost 2-1 due to an irregular hit. Jablonski, who advised Osmers to acknowledge the hit, received death threats in the following weeks and ended his career.
The game is canceled and made up by the DFB, this time Bernd Heynemann is scheduled. The referee from Magdeburg has no problems whatsoever in the catch-up game, which Bayern clearly win 5-0. A few weeks later, 1. FC Nürnberg descends from the Bundesliga, tied with the rescuing SC Freiburg. In the end, this one point for not descending was missing. Helmer, Osmers and Jablonski have “made history” with their Phantomtor, “Glubb” was once again the idiot in the end.
3. Thierry Henry’s handball against Ireland
Probably the most famous hand gate after Maradona’s “Hand of God” at the 1986 World Cup is “The Hand of Frog”, as the headlines of Irish newspapers. Ireland failed in the playoffs for the 2010 World Cup to France in November 2009. Since France had won the first leg 1-0 and Ireland also led 1-0 in the second leg after regular time, the game went into overtime. France won it with a goal, which was preceded by an unpunished handball – the referee was the Swede Martin Hansson – by Thierry Henry. About 20 minutes later, France had qualified for the World Cup and the excitement that followed shaped Henry’s otherwise brilliant career and France’s qualification was tarnished. Even they felt sympathy for their opponents. “It was a shame,” admitted Henry’s teammate Diarra.
The Irish FAI then applied to be admitted as the 33rd participant in the World Cup finals in South Africa, but failed. FAI President Delaney complained that FIFA President Joseph Blatter laughed at the Irish for trying. Later it became known: FIFA paid the FAI money in 2009 to prevent legal action against a referee’s decision.
2. Simunic receives 3 yellow cards
It was the laughing stock of the 2006 World Cup. During the preliminary round match between Australia and Croatia, referee Graham Poll from England distributed rows of yellow cards. The referee reached nine times, holding the yellow cardboard box three times in front of the Croatian Josip Simunic. An absolute novelty and curiosity at the same time, as it is well known that you have to leave the field after the second yellow. Simunic, who was warned with yellow in the 62nd minute, pulls two Australians to the ground in the 90th minute and consequently gets yellow again. However, contrary to the rules and protests from the Australian camp, Poll does not draw a red card.
It’s three minutes later. Time for Simunic to let off steam. With the referee, of course, but he has had enough of the Herthaner’s behavior at the time. For his verbal failure he receives the yellow box for the third time and ultimately the red card afterwards. Poll had to take harsh criticism, especially from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter. The Englishman then ended his career.
1. Hand of God
JJune 22, 1986 – The World Cup quarter-finals are underway between the warring nations Argentina and England. For the English, the hand goal of the eventual world champion Diego Armando Maradona is almost even worse than the Falklands War.
Probably worse than the Falklands War is the hand goal of the later world champion Diego Armando Maradona. The little Argentine booked a cross into Peter Shilton’s goal with his raised hand. The English goalkeeper is not a giant at 1.85 meters, but 20 centimeters taller than Maradona. In short: the Argentine could only achieve a goal with this high ball by hand.
The “hand of God” was born. The expression coined Maradona himself when he showed no regrets after the game and announced to the world in front of cameras: “It was a little Maradona’s head and a little bit the hand of God”. It wasn’t until 22 years later that Maradona showed remorse after admitting in 2005 that he had played the ball by hand.