Top 10 Most Disastrous Refereeing Blunders in Football History

In the world of football, the referee is one of the most divisive personalities. Sometimes it's only the loser's initial excuse, but other times the referee commits mistakes that can change the outcome of a game. 

It's a terrible feeling when players who have worked tirelessly to prepare a game find their efforts hampered by an error made by someone who should know better. Unfortunately, football's past is littered with such blunders. Let's take a look at the top ten.

Olympique Marseille 2 - 1 Dinamo Bucharest (1995 UEFA Cup)

The rules of football provide that if there is a good possibility of scoring, the referee must not blow the whistle to terminate the game. 

The referee of the match between Olympique Marseille and Dinamo Bucarest, on the other hand, appeared to overlook this peculiarity of the law and awarded the game to Dinamo Bucharest although the ball kicked by the Dinamo Bucharest player was still in the air, aimed at the goal. As a result, the goal was nullified, and the French passed the turn. 

France 4 - 1 Kuwait (World Cup 1982)

Something strange happened during the World Cup in Spain, which is famous in Italy for our national team's triumph. France led Kuwait 3-1 and scored the fourth goal despite the opponent's defense being completely shut down. 

Kuwaiti defenders would have heard a whistle from the stands and assumed it was coming from the referee. The sheikh personally stormed the pitch in protest, threatening to pull the team, and the goal was ruled out. The race was still decided by a score of 4 to 1.

South Korea 1 - 0 Spain (World Cup 2002)

The South Korean World Cup scandal was not limited to the match versus Italy in 2002. Even the Spaniards were enraged with the referee after two fairly regular goals were strangely annulled in favor of the Red Furies. 

One would believe that in this race (as well as the one between Korea and Italy), we are not talking about little gaffes, but rather about something far more heinous.

Santacruzense 1 - 1 Atlético Sorocaba. (Copa Paulista 2006)

What occurred in 2006 during a Copa Federacao Paulista de Futebol match between Santacruzense and Atletico Sorocaba was incredible. 

Santacruzense tried to equalize, but his shot missed on one of the few chances he had. Instead of just returning the ball to the goalkeeper, the ball boy took a few steps forward and deposits it in the net. The referee incredibly validated, eliciting a chorus of objections from the audience.

Argentina 2 - 1 England (World Cup 1986)

One of the most famous football matches in history, made famous by an arbitrator's mistake that allowed Diego Armando Maraona to score the game-winning goal with his hand. The Galleot arm that misled everyone was dubbed "the hand of God."

South Korea 2 - 1 Italy (World Cup 2002)

This match will live on in the Italian national football team's history. In actuality, Trapattoni's national squad was eliminated by South Korea, which was aided greatly by referee Bayron Moreno. 

A remarkable succession of blunders was nothing more than the manifestation of a sentiment that pervaded the match: the Ecuadorian referee wanted to hand the ball over to the hosts to pass the turn.

San Lorenzo 1 - 1 Colón (Clausura 2012)

In this case, the referee had a pivotal role in an astounding blunder. He first called a timeout for an evident offside, then retraced his steps and conceded the goal when the player continued to serve his bagging partner. This was a very perplexing decision.

Chelsea 1 - 1 Barcelona (UEFA Champions League 2008/2009)

Drogba screamed "Shame" in the conclusion, unable to comprehend the referee's judgments. And no one could blame the Ivorian after witnessing six egregious errors in the Catalan penalty area before Iniesta equalized for the Spaniards. Inadequate refereeing stained a Champions semifinal inexorably.

Germany 1 - 0 Argentina (World Cup 1990)

The Germans won the world championship with a penalty kick goal. A dubious penalty, but what enraged the South Americans the most was the fact that the referee had previously denied him a shot from eleven meters. The fact that the goal's creator, Andreas Brehme, ruled the penalty to be non-existent just adds to the scandal.

Tunisia 3 - 2 Serbia (2004 Olympic Games)

We've arrived at a point halfway between wrong and grotesque. The score is 1-1, and Tunisia was awarded a penalty kick, which might give them the advantage. 

Mohammed Jedidi, the striker, was presented on the spot, and the referee, Tahitian Charles Ariiotima, made it plain that no one could enter the area until the penalty was taken.  He clearly understood what had been clarified and had the penalty repeated six times, although no one was visible entering the area in some cases. This match holds the Guinness World Record in law.



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