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English referee Anthony Taylor made an embarrassing blunder in the Champions League between Dynamo Kyev and Benfica which he was forced to reverse.
In the 82nd minute, Kyiv midfielder Denys Garmash fouled midfielder Joao Mario with a high boot which looked like a certain yellow card tackle.
Taylor viewed it that way as well, but he tried to send off the Ukrainian midfielder for a second bookable offence despite never showing him a yellow card up until that point.
The 42-year-old referee, who has been officiating in the Premier League for the last 11 years, then realised his mistake after strong protests from the Kyiv team and apologised for his error before showing Garmash a yellow card.
Until robots are used as referees, there will always be human errors in officiating. Taylor won’t be the first to apologise for a blunder, and he won’t be the last.
Here are eight other examples of referees who have realised their mistakes…
Danny Makiele (Serbia v Portugal)
At 2-2, Cristiano Ronaldo thought he had scored an extra-time winner for Portugal earlier this year.
However, referee Danny Makiele and his assistant did not see it that way and thought that Serbian defender Stefan Mitrovic had cleared it off of the line, but he didn’t.
Speaking about the referee to Portuguese broadcaster RTP after the game, Portugal manager Fernando Santos said: “The referee apologised to me in the booth and told me he was embarrassed. I was in the dressing room with him and apologised to me,"
"He had told me on the pitch that he was going to see the images and that if it was the case he was calling me to apologise – and so it was.
Andre Marriner (Chelsea v Arsenal)
English referee Andre Marriner very quickly was forced to apologise after failing to red card the right player in 2014.
Eden Hazard’s goal-bound strike was heroically palmed away by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a save that any keeper would have been proud of.
However, instead of sending off the Ox, now of Liverpool, he gave Kieran Gibbs his marching orders.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited released a statement that read: “Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors.
“Whilst this was a difficult decision, Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player.
“He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.”
Tom Henning Ovrebo (Chelsea v Barcelona)
Chelsea have every right to feel robbed of a win in the 2009 Champions League semi-final after being knocked out on away goals.
Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo failed to award several blatant penalties which would have seen the Blues progress into the final.
After seeing the footage of his misjudgements, the Norwegian ref said to Marca: “I can’t be proud of that performance. They were handball situations. I judged them on the pitch and I think it is not interesting to know what I think of those actions once judged.
“But I understand that people think differently to the decisions I made at the time. That discussion will continue eternally.
“I was responsible for the decisions that were made and we can argue that, if I had taken others, maybe Chelsea would have qualified for the final. We will never know.”
Bobby Madley (Everton v Newcastle)
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Most referees wait until after a game to apologise for an error, but not Bobby Madley. In a match between Everton and Newcastle in 2018, the man in the middle was very quick to admit his blunder.
After missing a clear handball by Phil Jagielka in his own penalty box which would have seen the Magpies awarded a penalty, the referee quite literally held his hands up to say sorry.
Footage shows Madley shouting “I didn’t see it, I’m sorry,” with his hands raised in the air.
Tony Chapron (Nantes v Paris Saint-Germain)
In a tight Ligue One match between Nantes and PSG in 2018, referee Tony Chapron stole the headlines for sending off the home side’s Diego Carlos.
In a natural coming together, the Brazilian tripped the official. But the drama did not stop there.
The French ref then tried to trip Carlos up, failing miserably, before stopping play to give the Nantes player a second yellow card and thus sending him off.
Chapron spoke of the incident, saying: “During the match Nantes-PSG, I was knocked over by Diego Carlos, a player with Nantes. At the moment of impact, I felt a sharp pain where I had recently suffered an injury,
“My unfortunate reaction was to stick my leg out towards the player. This clumsy gesture was inappropriate. So I want to apologise following this action.”
The referee was banned for three months, which then doubled after an unsuccessful appeal.
Howard Webb (Holland v Spain)
In the 2010 World Cup final, referee Howard Webb showed players from Holland and Spain accumulatively 14 yellow cards.
However, the former Premier League referee regrets not showing ex-Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the first half of the match.
The Dutchman contested a high bouncing ball with Xabi Alonso, but instead of making constant with the ball he simply stamped into the Spaniard's chest in a horrendous foul, but he was only given a yellow card.
Reflecting on his performance in his autobiography, Webb wrote: “It wasn’t until half-time that I realised De Jong’s tackle might have been worthy of a red card… I felt gutted beyond belief.
“It looked like I’d missed a red-card offence in the World Cup final. What a f***ing nightmare. I returned to the pitch with my head pounding and my heart thumping.”
Jonathan Moss (Bournemouth v Southampton)
In a complete misjudgement that would have been overruled by VAR nowadays, Jonathan Moss had no option to apologise to Bournemouth defender Adam Smith.
In a Premier League match between the Cherries and Southampton, Moss showed Smith a yellow card for diving in the Saints’ penalty box – his fifth of the season.
However, replays showed that there was in fact clear contact from winger Sofiane Boufal and that a penalty should have been awarded. The game finished 1-1 and Smith had to sit out the following game due to how many yellows he had collected.
Speaking after the game, the English fullback said: “I got to the ball just before him, jumped to go over it and he (Boufal) took me down.
“For the ref to book me doesn’t help because that’s my fifth yellow card of the season. I spoke to him after and he apologised and said it was a penalty.
“I don’t mind him admitting it but the fact that he booked me and can’t get it rescinded, I’ll miss the next game.”
Michael Oliver (Watford v Leicester City)
Which of these refereeing decision was the worst? Let us know in the comments section.
The Championship play-off semi-final between Watford and Leicester City in 2013 was packed with drama and a major refereeing blip.
In added time, with the game level, Michael Oliver awarded a penalty to the Foxes after Anthony Knockaert was fouled by Marco Cassetti. However, replays showed the contact was exaggerated and it was more a dive than a foul.
Knockaert stepped up and took the penalty, it was saved by Manuel Almunia and the Hornets countered quickly which resulted in Troy Deeney volleying his side into the final with a historic goal.
Speaking to Watford’s official site, then manager Gianfranco Zola revealed that Oliver apologised to him after the match despite the victory.
The Italian said: “Oliver apologised to me before a match, I can’t remember what match, but he came to me and said, ‘I must apologise to you, you are right, and it wasn’t a penalty.’
“In that moment [in 2013] I felt very close to having a heart attack but, in the end, it came up in a perfect way.”
- Champions League
- Watford FC
- Leicester City FC
- Bournemouth FC
- Southampton FC
- World Cup
- PSG FC
- Everton FC
- Newcastle United FC
- Arsenal FC
- Chelsea FC
- Barcelona FC
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