Top 10 Worst Penalty Decisions in Football

by CUFA

Posted on April 1, 2015 at 13:00 PM

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It took 15 years for FIFA to accept goal-line-technology. Lets not wait 15 years for Video-Replays.

10. Portugal vs. Netherlands (2006)


This 2006 World Cup match was completely tarnished by incorrect referee-decisions. Referee Valentin Ivanov awarded an astonishing four red cards and 16 yellow cards, all within 90 minutes! (Becoming the referee to give the highest number of total bookings in a World Cup Match). However, shockingly, Nuno Valente's stud-first kick directly to the chest of Arjen Robben, went completly un-punished. Watching the replay, its quite clear atleast a booking would of been suitable. Instead, referee Ivanov called an (incorrect) offside decision against Dirk Kuyt. Not exactly a perfect call there Ivanov!

One would think, almost 10 years later, Video-Replays would be included in the Sport.


9.Liverpool vs. Leicester (2015)


The most recent incident to make our top-10 list, happened in the Liverpool - Leicester Match up. In the 17th minute, referee Mike Jones awarded Liverpool a penalty for an apparent hand-ball by Leicester player Wes Morgan. However, as Video-Replay later confirmed, the ball hit Morgan directly in the face showing there was absolutely no contact with the hand of Morgan. Steven Gerard went on to convert the penalty, making the final score a 2-2 draw.

So bad was the referee decision, that Gary Lineker described it as the "Worst penalty decision ever as Mike Jones gives handball against Leicester's Morgan at Anfield when it him in the face". Leicester Manager, Nigel Pearson, also added that Technology could of prevented the incorrect call; "I am not going to go down the route of being ultra-critical because at the end of the day the game could be a lot easier by utilising what is available to us [technology], but we don't."


8. Dundalk vs. Derry City (1988)


In 1988, Dundalk squared up against Derry City in the Football Association Ireland Cup Final. The tragedy; the entire match was descided by the referee awarding an incorrect penalty to Dundalk's Larry Wyse. For the referee, the slight brush-up, and brief touch of arms between Wyse and Derry City player Bayly, seemed to be enough for a penalty. If only the referee had the luxury of Video-Replay to confirm the decision. Instead, Dundalk won the cup because of the penalty, beating Derry City with a final-score of 1-0.


7. Manchester City vs. Manchester United (1996)


You can watch this video over and over again, and still not find the foul that referee Alan Wilkie awarded a penalty for. The shear surprise over the decision can be heard in the commmentators voice. What made matters even worse was this decision happened in the 1996 FA Cup Qaurter-Final. City’s manager at the time, Alan Ball said: “It changed the game. We had the tie taken away from us by a bizarre decision. Nobody in the crowd could believe it...”

We at CUFA, cant really believe mistakes like this are still happening in Football today.


6. Chelsea vs West Bromich Albion (2013)


West Bromich were 2-1 up when referee Marriner controversially awarded a penalty kick deep into substitution time. Ramires looked to collide with Bromich player Steven Reid. However, after reviewing the video-replay it was clear no contact was made at all. This was simply a 'dive' by Ramires to decieve the Referee. And it worked. Eden Hazard converted the penalty, unjustly denying West Brom a win at Stamford Bridge.

The referee-decision was so clearly incorrect, that referee-chief Mike Riley called West Brom Boss Steve Clark, just to apoligize for the decision. Steve Clark saying: "We've had a phone call from Mike Riley to apologise...He obviously feels it was the wrong decision...".

We feel some Video-Replay would have maybe been better...


5. Manchester United vs. Real Sociedad (2013)


This was the incident when the Manchester City player, Ashley Young, who some refer to as a 'serial-diver', decieved the referee to give a penalty. His theatrics were widely critisized in the press, and recieved world-coverage as they occured in a UEAF Champions League game. Influential Roy Keane criticised Young for decieving the referee, Nicola Rizzoli, saying: “He has obviously gone down too much over the last few months. He’s conned the referee there.”


4. Esporte Clube Juventude vs. Vasco da Gama (1997)


In this incident, from about 15 years ago, Vasco da Gama player Ramon, seems to simply trip himself up and then fall down. Quite funny to watch for viewers, however, the outcome was a completely incorrect penalty given to Vasco da Gama. Carlos Alberto converted the penalty to give Vasco an undeserved lead.


3. Germany vs. France (1982)


Probably one of the most dangerous 'tackles' to ever have gone un-punished in the Sport. Watch as Germany's goalkeeper Harald Schumacher completely flattens France's Patrick Battiston. Battiston was later stretchered off the field, and later went into a coma before recovering. The Referees response to this entire incident was absolutely nothing. No penalty nor any bookings were given. France's team and the world were left in shock.

Not sure about you, but we are pretty sure that incident deserved a Video-Replay and some sort of booking atleast!


2. Netherlands vs. Mexico (2014)


This incorrect penalty was truly disastrous, as it prevented Mexico from progressing to the World Cup quarter Finals. The match was looking like it was heading for extra-time at the end of 90 minutes, with the score tied up at 1-1. Mexico were looking like the favorites to win the match. However, in the 93rd minute of match-time, Arjen Robben staged a spectacular 'dive' inside the penalty box. Looking at the Video-Replay, its fairly clear to see that minimum contact, if any at all, is made between the Mexican Defender and Arjen Robbens. However, the Portuguese official, Pedro Proenca, was fooled by Robben's theatrics, and quickly awarded the incorrect penalty. Klaas Jan Huntelaar went on to convert, leaving no time for Mexico to eqaulize.

The Mexico Coach Herrerra was qouted after the game saying "Robben did three dives for penalties that didn’t exist. He had to be cautioned."

Later, after the world cup, Robben went on to admit he was trying to fool the referee during the match, but denying this particular incident was a dive; "The one [at the end] was a penalty, but the other one was a dive in the first half."


1.Brisbane vs. Perth (2012)


Not exactly sure what the referee, Jarred Gillett, saw in this incident. What most spectators and viewers witnessed, and later saw on video-replay, was player Besart Berish mis-kicking the ball, and then clumsily tripping over his own feet. Apparently the referee saw something completely different, as he was quick to award a very controversial (and very incorrect) penalty. Brisbane went on to convert the penalty.

Making matters worse, this all took place in an A-league Final, and ended up handing Brisbane the entire win. How these incidents are still happening in Football matches in the 21st century is beyond us.

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