Video: Respect the ref? As soon as he stops awarding goals like this one

An unexpected side effect of the Respect the Ref campaign has been the joy in pointing out examples of refereeing errors that are so bad that it makes respect impossible and just refraining from running onto the pitch and slapping him senseless with a sweaty shin pad is the best one can do.

As examples of bad decisions go, they don´t get much better than the goal awarded by Stuart Attwell in the 2-2 draw between Watford and Reading. The Royals were handed a point when the match officials contrived to award a goal when the ball had not been anywhere near the net.

The 25-year-old ref awarded the goal to Reading on the advice of assistant Nigel Bannister. The ball had in fact gone out of play for a corner. Unfortunately, when Mr Bannister saw the ball cross the line he obviously thought he had seen net in front of it. The video evidence proves conclusively that he was wrong – and that is the understatement of the century.

Watford manager Adrian ´Mulder´Boothroyd came over all X-Files post-match. He said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like a UFO landing, a mistake like that.”

This particular refereeing mistake is so bad that it is laughable. But with the majority of managers on best behaviour, incidents like this do give an insight into the frustrations faced by coaches. Watch the video below to judge for yourself whether Attwell deserves your respect….
Respect Stuart Attwell