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World Cup’s 101 Most Memorable Moments: One, two, three yellow cards

By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports Soccer Writer

Editor’s note: Each day between now and the kickoff of the first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we’ll unveil a different memory from World Cup history. The countdown from 101 continues with the referee’s counting mistake.

What’s the worst officiating blunder in World Cup history?

Maradona’s Hand of God probably takes first prize. Nigel de Jong’s Kung fu kick on Xabi Alonso in the 2010 final, for which referee Howard Webb brandished only a yellow card, is up there, too.

So is an error by another English ref. In Germany in 2006, Graham Poll showed Croatian defender Josip Šimunić three yellow cards before sending him off in stoppage time of the Croats Group F finale against Australia.

It was the last World Cup game Poll ever worked; he asked not to be considered for future tournaments on account of his unforgettable mistake.

You can get three yellow cards?

Josip Šimunić was famously awarded three yellow cards as Croatia took on Australia.

One of the leading soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.


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