Miraculously, referee Andre Marriner sent off Kieran Gibbs instead, much to the astonishment of everyone, and especially Oxlade-Chamberlain. It was a bizarre decision, especially as he refused to listen to the culprit owning up to his mistake.
While the good news is that Marriner has escaped demotion despite the blunder, he is now the poster boy for referees who have messed things up at the highest echelon of football.
There have been plenty of incidents of wrong refereeing decisions affecting the outcome of a game such as Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God", which the referee failed to spot, as well as Frank Lampard’s goal which never was in the 4-1 defeat to Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarter final.
In this week’s top 5, Goal Singapore takes a look at the best (worst) refereeing blunders in recent times.
|5. TSG Hoffenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen
October 18 2013
|Starting off our list is one of the most recent bizarre refereeing decision incidents. Referee Felix Brych awarded a freak goal to Stefan Kiessling after his header went wide but then crept into the net through a hole in the side-netting.
The goal proved decisive as Bayer Leverkusen ran out 2-1 winners of the night, much to everyone else’s dismay and surprise.
It was an atrocious decision by Brych to have allowed the goal to stand after Kiessling himself seemed to have held his head in frustration, thinking he had misssed a goal scoring opportunity.
However, the goal and result stood as the German Football Association (DFB) rejected Hoffenheim’s appeal for a replay.
"I thought the ball was going wide,” Brych said. “I lost sight of the ball as my view was blocked. Then I realised the ball had gone in."
Brych consulted his assistants when the ball went in, but he chose to award the goal nonetheless. Ridiculous.
|2. Turkey vs Brazil
June 3 2002
|It is not every day you see a midfielder making the cut into such a countdown. But Frank Lampard is an exception.
The match will forever be remembered for the most ridiculous dive ever executed in the history of football.
The “diver,” as he was called, was none other than Rivaldo, as he helped his side to a 2-1 victory over the Turks.
The former Barcelona player was killing time over a corner kick near the end of the game when Hakan Unsal kicked the ball to his leg from a distance. He reacted by collapsing on the pitch clutching his face.
The Korean referee gave Unsal a second bookable offence, forcing him to leave the field. It was not so much Rivaldo’s act but the referee’s lack of depth, as well as the lack of support from the other referee officials, that created such furore.
Perhaps the Turks should have seen it coming after he dished out caution after caution during the game. The referee also made a dubious penalty decision as he sent off Alpay Ozalan after he pulled back Luizao when he was at least three yards from the penalty box.
|1. Croatia vs Australia
June 22 2006
|Of course, we save the best for last. And by best we mean the worse refereeing blunder, and the winner is none other than Graham Poll’s moment of absurdity during the 2006 World Cup match in Germany between Australia and Croatia.
The seasoned veteran amazingly booked Josip Simunic twice without sending him off. It was only at the end of the match when he was booked for the third time for dissent before Poll finally sent him off.
That is perhaps one of the all-time great refereeing blunders, considering Poll made the most basic of errors on the biggest stage of world football.
Unsurprisingly, he was sent home early for the tournament and you wouldn’t bet on him refereeing an international game since. Disappointed or not, he will always be remembered for such a blunder despite a creditable reputation prior to his triple yellow card showing.