Refereeing is probably the most thankless job in sport. There can hardly be any game or competition where a referee’s decision at some stage has not come in for criticism. Players, of course, make mistakes all the time, but most are remembered for great goals, great saves or being part of excellent teams; referees, on the other hand, are remembered for their mistakes.

Take Graham Poll, for example. The first man to referee 300 Premier League games in England, he was one of Britain’s finest and most successful referees – and yet he is remembered for one horrendous blunder rather than all the fine decisions he made during his refereeing career. During the Australia-Croatia game in the 2006 World Cup he gave Croatia’s Josip Simunic three yellow cards. Simunic should have been sent off after the second (shown just on 90 minutes) but instead was allowed to continue and was shown a third yellow card (and finally a red card) just on the final whistle.Continue Reading…