1) Mr. Mali’s Strange Affair
What was the deal with the Mali ref and why did he blow Landon Donovan’s kick dead basically right after he took it. He never did tell anyone on the pitch who the foul was on and if there even was a foul. Instead he avoided the topic and he was avoided for the rest of the tournament because of it. It had little effect on the way things turned out considering the USA won the Group C draw, but it proved some officials out there still hold grudges towards certain teams.
2) England’s Goal or Lack Of
It was probably more significant than the Mali guy’s blunder, but at least this Uruguayan ref admitted he had completely blown it. Given that it is a call that you can’t miss because it is the entire point of the sport, but the game is moving fast and the ball only crossed the line for a few moments. Still a terrible call and certainly didn’t help the Three Lions.
3) Kaka’s Red Card
Kaka gets run into and he somehow gets a red card? Sure the guy got a bit of an elbow when he was passing by, but that’s why you don’t run straight into people in the first place. It proves that several officials just make the call without thinking about if they actually saw anything. The Ivory Coast was fired up and attacked Kaka (for no reason) and the ref appeased the angry mob by giving out a stupid card.
4) Muller’s Yellow Card
Muller did make contact with the ball on his hand, but was it such serious contact that he deserved a yellow card and a semifinals banishment? I think it was clearly an accident and if the young goal scoring sensation knew the consequences he probably would have played handcuffed. An Argentine defender had just batted the ball with his arm 10 minutes beforehand too and received no yellow.
5) Tevez Not Off Sides?
It was a terrible call, but one that is slightly understandable. Still terrible and I’m not sure how they miss such a blatantly obvious guy standing near the goal post, but it seems as if this blunder is the most common. I’ve seen a half dozen nearly as bad with the off sides thing, but this one (Mexico-Argentina) was the worst.
photo credit: hughelectronic