The football World Cup is the ideal platform for players to showcase their skills on the international stage and win the cup for their country. However, there are incidents which put the player and officials in the minds of the fans for all the wrong reasons. Here's a look at some of the historic blunders made in the history of the World Cup:
England vs Germany 2010 FIFA World Cup match. Pic/ AFP
Jorge Larrionda, Mauricio Espinosa and Pablo Fandino (England vs Germany, 2010 World Cup): If England suffered in the league stage due to a terrible goal-keeping error, their miseries were compounded in the round of 16, when Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda and his two linesman, Pablo Fandino and Mauricio Espinosa disallowed a goal from Frank Lampard which would have leveled the scores at 2-2. Replays clearly suggested that the ball had crossed the line after hitting the cross bar but the officials thought otherwise. They eventually drew a lot of flak as England were routed 4-1 after the farce.
Charles Clover (West Germany vs France, 1982 World Cup): If players can make blunders, how can officials be far behind? In one of the most callous umpiring decisions, referee Charles Clover, officiating in the high temper World Cup semi-final of 1982 between West Germany and France, failed to spot a terrible foul by German keeper Harold Schumacher on French player Patrick Battiston. Instead of awarding a penalty, he ordered a goal kick, as the ball went out of play. West Germany went on to win the game.
Rene Higuita (Columbia vs Cameroon, 1990 World Cup): Call it bravado or a callous mistake, Columbian goal-keeper Rene Higuita in an attempt to keep the ball away from his half during extra time in the match against Cameroon, lost possession of the same and the lose ball was latched on by Roger Mila who smashed it into an empty net. Cameroon won the game 2-1.
Andres Escobar (Columbia vs USA, 1994 World Cup): In one of the most tragic World Cup blunders, Columbian defender Andres Escobar, in an attempt to block a cross from America’s John Harkes into the box, ended up netting the ball into his own net. Tragically, only 10 days after this incident, Escobar was shot dead by suspect Columbian drug mafia, who apparently lost a lot of money after Columbia’s defeat.
Robert Green (England vs USA, 2010 World Cup): Rene Higuita in his moment of Bravado had set the standards for bad goal keeping. However, England’s Robert Green went a step further in showing his clumsy side. While trying to stop a half-hearted shot from American Clint Dempsy in the 2010 World Cup, the ball brushed past his hands and rolled into the net slower than ever. The match drew 1-1 and that affected England’s position in the group.