In the knockout stages in any major tournament like the UEFA Champion League, World Cup, EURO, FIFA Club World Club, Copa Libertadores, Asian Cup and others a single incident can change the game. An incident such like deflection, own goals, last minute goals, penalties, tactical change by the managers, right substitution by the managers, crowd support and much more can decide the outcome of the game. But they are another thing that also can change the game and the perpetrator of this incident will be the man in the middle of the pitch referee. In the knockout stages, the referee decision can change the game upside down especially if this is a bad decision. In the knockout stages, they are several games that had been turned upside down due to referee bad decision and we will look at the games that had been decided by a bad referee decision.

Number 8.

West Germany vs Hungary 1954 World Cup final.

The Miracle of Bern will not happen if Puskas 3rd goal is not disallowed

The Miracle of Bern the mighty Magical Magyar against West Germany. In the group stages, both of this side played each other and the West Germany side had been trashed 8-3 the biggest defeat for the German football national team in their football history. Hungary had been unbeaten in nearly 30 games that include being the first foreign team to beat England in Wembley 6-3, trashing them in Budapest 7-1, beating South Korea 9-0, beating Brazil 4-2 in the quarter-final and beating the defending champion with some score lines 4-2 but after extra time. In the final Hungary is the favorites and had stormed to a 2-0 lead within 10 minutes but the German had scored 2 goals to level the match and in the 84th-minute German player Helmut Rahn had scored the winning goal. But in the 2 minutes before the end of the game, Puskas had looked like scored the equalizing 3rd goal but it was wrongly ruled for offside and in the end, German had won, the Miracle of Bern had born. If the referee had not wrongly disallowed the goal, the Hungary might be the champion.

Number 7

Leeds United vs Bayern Munich 1975 UCL final.

Michel Kitabdjian the referee for this game

The game that had still lived in the memory of Leeds United fans. Since 1968, no English team had been in the final until Leeds United reached the final in this year against the defending champion Bayern Munich. Leeds United had controlled the game from the beginning but the are many decisions went against them. First when Franz Beckenbauer had handled the ball in the penalty box but the referee didn’t award a penalty. Again, Franz Beckenbauer is the perpetrator as he had fouled Leeds United player Alan Clarke but the referee didn’t award a penalty too but worst to come. Billy Bremer the Leeds United player had looked like scored the goal that gave Leeds United the lead and at first, the referee pointed to the center circle indicating it is a goal but Franz Beckenbauer had consoled the referee and the referee had disallowed the goal. Furious and rattled, Leeds United had lost their composure and Bayern had capitalized on this and scored 2 late goals to give them the 2nd consecutive European title. Until now, Leeds United feels they are created for this game and still chanting that they are the European champion. If the referee had allowed the goal maybe they will be another English team in the European champion list after Manchester United, Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Chelsea.

Number 6

Spain vs South Korea 2002 World Cup Quarter Final.

Furious Spain Captain Fernando Hierro with the referee decision

The Italian had felt hard done by the referee in the second round of the competition when they had been knocked out via South Korean Ang Jung Hwan golden goal but in truth, the team that feels most of the bad referee decision is the Spanish in the quarter-final. When Spain and South Korea had met in the quarter-final it is the first time that an Asian team had reached the quarter-final since their neighbor North Korea in 1966. Where in 1966, North Korea had stormed to a 3-0 lead before Eusebio scored 4 to help Portugal making the score line 5-3, in this game the Spanish were in charge from the beginning but unable to score. In the golden goal extra time, Spain looked to have too scored the winning goal when Fernando Morientes had headed from Joaquin cross but bizarrely the referee had disallowed the goal. The reason for the goal been disallowed, the ball had been deemed to cross the line but replay had shown that the ball is miles from outside the line and is in. South Korea finally had won the game via penalties to become the first Asian team in the semi-final. The Spanish had been robbed and cheated from the game due to this decision.

Number 5

France vs Republic of Ireland 2010 World Cup Qualifier Play Off.

France were favorites in this playoff and they had taken a 1-0 lead from Ireland to France. But the Republic of Ireland under Giovanni Trapattoni is one resilient team and they had taken the lead in France and had leveled the score via aggregate. If the score is still the some in the extra time then the contest need to be decided via penalties. But Thierry Henry had another idea. Florent Malouda had taken a free kick in the center circle and lofted the ball to Thierry Henry whom running on the left-hand side and Henry had handled the ball not once but twice that had led Willian Gallas to score the goal that qualified France for the 2010 World Cup. Thierry Henry had admitted he handled the ball but FIFA denied the Republic of Ireland any replay and score stand as it is and the Republic of Ireland were eliminated.

Number 4

Argentina vs England 1986 World Cup Quarter Final.

England vs Argentina in the quarter-final with the Falkland War as the headline. Argentina were absolutely the favorites with Diego Maradona in his peak. Nothing happened in the first half but in the second half, the most controversial incident happened. Argentina had attacked but it was stopped by the England defender but unfortunately, the ball is lobbed toward the onrushing Peter Shilton.Maradona does not give up and ended up scoring the goal over the rushing Peter Shilton via hand. The England saw it and Maradona knows it but the referee had pointed to the center circle indicating it is a valid goal. England player was angry and run toward the referee but the goal still stands. The incident had been described by Maradona as the “Hand of God”.

Number 3

France vs West Germany 1982 World Cup Semifinal.

Upon the elimination of Brazil in 1982, France were the neutral favorites in this World Cup. When they had met the German in the semi-final, many of the football fans expected France to be in the final. The German had taken the lead before France talisman Michel Platini had equalized from the penalty spot but the real incident took place in the second half. France player Patrick Batiston had been brutally fouled by the onrushing German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher that led Patrick unconscious. Furthermore, the foul by Schumacher had led Patrick with two missing teeth, three cracked ribs, and damaged vertebrae. But the worst to come as the referee didn’t  give any foul, free kick to France or giving a red card to the German goalkeeper. To add fuel to fire, the referee gave a goal kick to the German. Still, France had led the German 3-1 in the extra time before they had squandered it and led German to equalized to 3-3 and forced the game to penalties where the German had won. The hero of the penalties shootout is Harald Schumacher and this will not happen if he had been penalized for the foul and France will be a worthy finalist against Italy.

Number 2

England vs Germany 2010 World Cup Second Round.

England and German had met 2 times in the World Cup knockout stages. Each time the game had been to extra time but in this game, it will be different. German had taken a 2-goal lead but England had scored 1 via Matthew Upson and looked like had leveled the score via Frank Lampard but the referee again becomes the subject. Frank Lampard lob shot had been over the goal line by miles and the goal should be given to England but the referee didn’t lead to English pundit angry with the referee and in the end, the German had inflicted the worst defeat for England in the World Cup with the final score of 4-1. If the referee had given the goal, England will level the score and the game will be back in the balance and England will not suffer a humiliating defeat but again the referee had changed the game.

Number 1

Chelsea vs Barcelona 2009 Semi Final Second Leg.

Tom Henning Ovrebo the man in the middle for this game

If on the previous list, the referee makes one or two big mistakes but in this game, it is a different story altogether. Barcelona had been imperious under their rookie manager Pep Guardiola but Chelsea under Guus Hiddink had played a magnificent defensive game to stop the trio of Lione Messi, Thierry Henry, and Samuel Eto’o from scoring in the first leg in Spain. In the second leg, Chelsea had taken the lead via Michel Essien fantastic long shot and Chelsea in control off this game but the referee had messed up Chelsea brilliant tactical play. He had denied Chelsea nearly 4 penalties, and making every referee decision, in favor to Barcelona and in the end, Barcelona had scored the important away goal that led them to progress to the final. Chelsea had been feel cheated and robbed. I had chosen this game as number 1 as the referee had made many mistakes that had led the football fan said that UEFA supported Barcelona and does not want another all-English final. The term “UEFALona” has started from this game. If the referee had made the correct decision, the Barcelona historic run of 6 trophies will not happen and the final of 2009 will be the repeat of 2008 final where Manchester United meet Chelsea.

The man of middle and the linesman is one of the most important factors in a football game. His decision can cause a team to lose the game and at some time can make other teams win the game. Since the referee is protected by FIFA and UEFA, they are no chance that both will reverse or replay any game that had been changed due to a bad referee decision. Maybe if the goal line technologies and the upcoming under review video referee is available in this game thing will different for the team as some of the team mentioned is on the path of making history but had been crushed by the referee bad mistake.

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