Premier League

Top Ref Blunders Technology Could Have Prevented

Oi Ref!!!

You can’t escape technology, it controls everything. We’re quickly becoming its implicit, impassive slaves.

It’s vital for our existence, we depend on it, it watches our every move, it tracks you and knows your slightest whim (you mucky pup, you), soon we’ll be living in an Orwellian nightmare of centralised autocratic control and even the toilet – that last bastion of peace and privacy – will be ruthlessly exposed to our harsh masters, as the cold clanging arm of ‘technology’ grasps the collective neck of the human race and squeezes slowly; humanity gasping desperately for its last dying breath…

Anyway, paranoia over, in the wake of England’s ‘goal’ against Germany, and a catalogue of deplorable referee mistakes, technology is again raising its ugly little head in the football headlines. Its introduction is being highlighted as a long overdue necessity. The story rumbles on. Nevertheless, it seems appropriate, and quite entertaining, to have a look at three recent landmark examples of refereeing blunders that technology could have prevented.

1. Pedro Mendes, the goal that never was:

Tottenham vs. Man United, always an intriguing fixture and this match in 2005 was particularly note-worthy. In a tightly fought contest at Old Trafford, and with the score at 0-0, Mendes let fly a speculative 50-yard shot. It should have been an easy catch for United keeper Roy Carroll, but he flapped and fumbled about – don’t trust him as a babysitter – and somehow contrived to drop the ball behind him, over his own goal line, thus handing Spurs the lead….oh. Indeed, what could have been the start of famous Old Trafford victory was snatched away. The goal was disallowed as linesman Ray Lewis somehow missed the ball landing clearly over the goal-line Video technology = goal.

2. Duisburg v Frankfurt, January 2010:

This one comes courtesy of Germany, and is conversely the reverse to England’s disallowed goal. The game may have been a foregone conclusion – this ‘goal’ making it 5-0 to Duisburg – and it’s not a particularly well-known example, but it’s included here to share a hidden gem, for it’s what the f**k factor and because it’s definitely worth a gander (follow the link above). Lofted from the edge of the area, the ball strikes the bar and evidently bounces out away from goal – and a decent distance too. There’s absolutely no indication that it could be regarded as a goal, yet the referee absurdly decrees that the ball crossed the line (still the Duisburg players mutedly high-five each other)

3. Stuart Atwell gives ‘ghost goal’:

Watford vs. Reading, 2008; a tense Championship tie, and the scene of one of the strangest goals ever given. Reading whipped in a corner, a slight scramble ensued, the ball was knocked back in just off the by-line and eventually cleared away. Phew, end of that, then. Well, it should have been. But linesman Nigel Bannister apparently saw the ball pass the inside of the post despite it being nowhere near, (NOWHERE NEAR!!), and the fact that no players whatsoever appealed for a goal. Atwell duly took the linesman’s word and the ghoulish goal was given.

There we go then; three prime ‘tut-tut’ inducing examples of refereeing blunders that video technology could have prevented.

Your nominations and ‘favourites’…?

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