Blundering English ref sent home
June 25, 2006
REFEREE Graham Poll has been red-carded for his deplorable handling of the Australia-Croatia match and will be sent home from the World Cup.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter called Englishman Poll's handling of the match "inexcusable".
However, he was taking a more measured line over the referee's Cup future after Australia's 2-2 draw in which Croatia defender Josip Simunic amazingly received three yellow cards before being sent off.
"Of course, we cannot excuse it but perhaps we should understand it," Blatter said.
"It simply should not have happened. We have had four officials and what is not understandable is that nobody intervened. I just can't understand it. There are people there and one of them should have intervened and run on to the field of play and said: 'Stop, stop'."
The British press went in boots and all.
London's The Sun labelled Poll the "world's dopiest ref" under a headline "Fool Poll's coming home".
With Australia saying they would have protested the result had they not reached the next round, Poll accepted that his World Cup was over.
The Premier League ref apologised for his failure to send off Simunic after a second yellow. He also missed two clear penalties in favour of the Socceroos.
After reviewing a DVD of the match, Poll said he erred in not sending off Simunic and wished other referees the best of luck.
Former World Cup ref Clive Thomas said Poll's performance was one of the worst in history.
"It was pretty grim," he told the Sun.
The Sunday Telegraph