No matter what the sport, there are always going to be contentious actions by referees. These individuals are called to act on their own judgements during games, with no jury and no long time available for contemplation. These split-second decisions are made in order to honor the integrity of the game being played, so it’s no surprise at all that audiences, fans and the press will often disagree with the decisions made. Sometimes the refs are right, sometimes the refs are wrong – and sometimes, the refs are so horribly wrong that it’s hard to believe.
Let’s take a look at some of the worst calls ever made by soccer refs.
1. Graham Poll’s Big Mistake
Back in 2006, Graham Poll caused controversy, despite being highly respected and well-known. He had previously refereed two games at the 2006 World Cup for soccer, and did exceptionally well – so he was expected to be the referee for the final.
In a shocking twist, however, during the last match between Australia and Croatia, Poll didn’t send off Josip Suminuc, the Croatian team’s left back. The player should have been sent off, given he had already been booked twice, and when he stayed on the field, he continued misbehaving and eventually was given a red card.
As a result, Poll retired after the next season. He had been mocked endlessly for his bad decision making and never returned to the profession. Ouch!