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10 Amazing Stories About Referees

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Referee shows a red card

Referees get the stick for the smallest mistakes they make. It makes their job a lot more difficult and stressful than it actually is. Here are some of the most bizarre and amazing stories about referees from around the world:


Blood on the field

A match in South Africa in 1999 saw referee Lebogang Petrus Mokgethi, 34, shoot a player dead as that player approached him with a knife. Hartbeesfontein Wallabies were playing Try Agains at home leading 2-0.

Try Agains pulled a goal back which started a pitch invasion from home fans. A Wallabies player left the field, returned with a knife, lunged at the official and was shot for his trouble. It transpired the unrest was due to betting on the match.

Jailed for match-fixing

Robert Hoyzer was jailed for 29 months in 2009 after confessing to try and fix the outcome of matches in Germany. Hoyzer gave a number of decisions in favour of Paderborn as they defeated Hamburg in a cup game.

Hamburg complained to the German FA, the matter was investigated and it turned out Hoyzer was involved with a Croatian gambling syndicate.

Red for the ref

Andy Wain lost his temper in the middle of a match, he followed the letter of the law and showed himself a straight red card.

An English Sunday league game saw Wain award a goal to Royal Mail AYL. The opposition goalkeeper protested as Wain threw down his whistle pulled out his shirt and squared up to the ‘keeper. He promptly sent himself off and the match was abandoned.

Newcastle pair dimissed

When Graeme Souness took over at Newcastle United, he instilled a fighting spirit among his squad. Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer objected to each other in the middle of the game before literally fighting in the middle of the pitch. The referee had no choice but to send the pair off.

Axe the players

A referee threatened players with an axe during a match in London. The game was a five-a-side contest between Romark FC and Czech Club in Finchley. The ref called the game off, ran off the pitch and returned waving a long axe around in the air. The players involved ran off.

Corruption revelation

The corruption of Emilio Guruceta Muro was revealed ten years after he had died. Nottingham Forest suspected him of bias during a match against Anderlecht in 1984 and the President of the Belgian club later revealed that the referee had been paid one million Euros to ensure Anderlecht won the game, which they did 3-0.

Linesman killed for rejecting bribe

Alvaro Ortega was gunned down after officiating as a linesman during a match between Independiente Medellin and America de Cali in 1989. Organised crime was blamed for his death as it was later revealed that Ortega had turned down a bribe to run the line in a biased way.

Two yellows and no sending-off

English referee Graham Poll will go down in history as the official who once showed the same player three yellow cards. The match was between Australia and Croatia at the 2006 World Cup where Josip Simunic. He was booked twice during the game to the amazement of the crowd and was only sent off after the final whistle when Poll realised his mistake.

Match-fixing for a night of pleasure

A referee who refused to be named claimed that a club once tried to bribe him before a cup match in 2000. However, this was a bribe with a difference as the club were prepared to lay on a number of prostitutes for the official if he agreed to officiate a match to a certain a result.

Merciful ref

Referee Marc Gevaert blew the final whistle of a match after 85 minutes to stop one team’s humiliation. FC Wijtschate trailed Vladslo by a score of 16-0. The official explained that he could see members of the losing team getting frustrated and he stopped the match to prevent one of them from being sent off or a member of the Vladslo team from getting injured.

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