“I stand by him: I did an excellent referee. The performance of my assistants was disastrous. Their mistakes should not be counted in my performance.” A few months ago, the Egyptian Gamal Al-Ghandour gave an interview to the Spanish newspaper Brand He defended his performance in one of the most controversial matches in the history of the World Cup. At the same time, he wasn’t shy about blaming teammates Ali Tomosang, of Uganda, and Michael Rajunath, of Trinidad and Tobago, for the embarrassment. The truth is that among the three they committed a shameful robbery that kicked Spain out of the 2002 Cup and kept South Korea, one of the event’s organizers, in the race.
Al-Ghandour, Tomosang and Ragunat launched the team led by Jose Antonio Camacho in the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals. And in a sort of example of action and reaction in football terms, they gave the South Koreans the passport to the semi-finals to feed the unprecedented hope of the local crowd. The red tidethe explosion of popular enthusiasm, accompanied the team’s victories led by the Dutchman Guus Hiddink.
The three referees – the refereeing team, which was called today – repeated the terrible task of Ecuadorean Byron Moreno, who paved the way for South Korea in the previous stage against Italy. In another scandalous performance, the owner of the house awarded a non-existent punishment (perhaps due to divine justice, stopped by Gianluigi Buffon), and did not give her a real punishment. Zuri In the same procedure, Francesco Totti was sent off for what he considered a simulation, and as if all that were not enough, he canceled a run in the goal of Damiano Tommasi for a wrong advanced position distinguished by Argentine assistant Jorge Ratalino.
This background made all eyes focus on Ghandour’s work. Totti, the Italian player who got the red card in the round of 16, warned that “Spain should care more about the referee than they do about Korea.”
As much as the Egyptian referee has a clear conscience, on June 22 it had a clear impact on the Spanish elimination, and thus on the arrival of South Korea to the semi-finals. The first stage of this multi-part heist occurred as soon as the second half began. The judge disallowed a header by Ruben Baraga due to an alleged foul by Ivan Helguera of an Asian defender.
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The worst happened when Joaquin, a young Betis player at the time, ran from the right to attack and fired a perfect cross from Fernando Morientes’ header. Stunning yet true, Trinidad Raghunath raised his flag to tell Al Ghandour that the ball had passed over the goal line. The judge dismissed the case. The assistant made a fatal mistake, because the ball never left the field of play.
At that time, it was the rule golden goalSo Morientes’ goal meant Spain’s victory and Korea’s farewell to the World Cup.
But there was another game with an arbitration error that stripped the team of the victory it sought, which was then known as red fury. On that occasion, it was Ugandan Tomosang who scored a leading position that had only existed in his mind when Luis Enrique – at the time a pillar of Barcelona and coach of today’s Spain – along with goalkeeper Lee Won Jae.
The anger of the Spaniards was uncontrollable. Ivan Helguera was next to himself. Captain Fernando Hierro was trying to get an answer from the Dandy. Camacho tried to prevent his players from attacking the referee. A ridiculous situation caused by the incompetence of the judging team, which was not up to the task.
Before and after those controversial episodes, the host country – the other organizer Japan – dominated the first leg until Spain, with a very rich squad, managed to win the match. The clearest manifestation of this superiority for Camacho’s men was a good Morientes header that was covered by Lee Won Jae and a skewed shot that hit the post. Everything came from the Real Madrid striker. Iker Casillas, the goalkeeper who won the place because Santiago Canizares missed the World Cup due to an injury to his foot caused by a falling perfume bottle, excelled at Park Ji-sung’s shot.
As no 0-0 changed within 120 minutes of play, the match was decided by a penalty kick. Hwang Sun-Hong opened the series by defeating Casillas and then Fernando Hierro, Park Ji-Sung, Rubén Baraja, Seol Ki-Hyeon, Xavi and Ahn Jung-Hwan corrected it. Joaquin’s much heralded shot ended up in Lee Woon-Jae’s hand. Captain Hong Myung Bo was responsible for the last shot and buried the ball deep in the goal. South Korea continued to advance. Spain, on the other hand, was angrily retreating. He was the victim of a heinous burglary.
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