The term “ghost goal” just entered the English language fifteen years ago, yet the occurrence has been a feature of the game since the first pig’s bladder was kicked across a chalk line.
Any unclear or ambiguous objective will undoubtedly draw criticism from all quarters. There will be people who firmly believe they saw the ball on the line and others who will disagree just as strongly.
When Liverpool’s Luis Garcia scored in the waning seconds of their match against Chelsea in the 2005 Champions League semifinal, Jose Mourinho, then the Chelsea manager, coined the phrase. With his customary witty yet caustic performance, “The Special” let the world know that in his eyes, the goal was not genuine, and the phrase became widely used in the press.
Ghost Goal in World Cup 2022:
Another “ghost goal” was played out in reverse during the 2022 World Cup qualification round when Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to score the game-winning goal in stoppage time of a match between Serbia and Portugal. Since there was no goal line technology or VAR in play, the referee’s ruling stood even though it was obvious that the ball had over the line.
Ghost Goal in World Cup 2010:
However, during the World Cup proper, there were two incidences involving, oddly enough, the same main characters. In the Round of 16 of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, England was down 2-1 against Germany when Frank Lampard fired a shot off the crossbar and into the goal. The decision to not award it because the referee disagreed completely changed the game’s momentum. England was depressed and lost 4-1 rather than tying the score and coming out on the offensive.
Ghost Goal in world cup 1996:
But without a question, Geoff Hurst’s game-changing goal in the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany is the most significant “ghost goal” in World Cup history. Hurst’s attempt at 2-2 hit the crossbar and deflected off. All the English players there said they saw the ball clearly in goal, despite the Germans’ claims that they saw chalk fly as the ball touched the ground, indicating it had over the goal line.
In doubt, Swiss official Gottfried Dienst approached his Soviet aide Tofik Bahramov, who chose the goal. After the infamous “they-think-it’s-over” Wait, England scored a fourth goal to finish the game 4-2.
“Ghost goals” in the World Cup should be a thing of the past with the introduction of goal-line technology since 2014, thanks in large part to the enormous criticism of the Lampard affair in 2010. But it may still enter the game when you least expect it, as the Portuguese discovered in Serbia.
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