Manchester City star striker Edin Dzeko has spoken out after glaring errors by New Zealand referee Peter O’Leary and his crew will see Bosnia-Herzegovina make an early exit at World Cup 2014.
Bosnia, making its first appearance in a World Cup, won’t qualify out of Group F for the Round of 16 after falling 1-0 in Saturday’s late match.
O’Leary, a high school biology teacher, waved off Dzeko’s 21st minute goal for offside and then controversially allowed a 29th minute winner by Nigeria after an obvious foul should have disallowed that goal.
Television replays showed Dzeko was clearly in an onside position when he received a pass from teammate Zvjezdan Misimovic and ripped a blistering shot past Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. But O’Leary’s assistant raised his flag and the goal was disallowed.
“Today we should have won this game,” Dzeko said. “The referee was shameful in this competition. We are going home, we are sad because of that but this referee should be going home too. He changed the result and he changed the game. That’s why we lost.”
Eight minutes after the first gaffe, the Super Eagles scored a controversial goal when Bosnian defender Emir Spahic had his legs clipped out by Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike just outside the penalty area. But instead of calling the play back for a foul as most had expected, O’Leary allowed play to continue as Emenike crossed the ball to Peter Odemwingie for the game-winner.
Follow the link to this video post and decide whether you would have called back the goal.
“I don’t want to comment on the goal,” said Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic. “I was told in the dressing room that Dzeko was onside, well onside. It was clear. As far as the reported foul on Spahic, if the ref didn’t whistle, there was no foul.”
In the 24 hours after the match we were flooded with record traffic numbers approaching 20,000 at last count, dozens of comments and over 11,000 votes in our poll for worst World Cup referee as irate Bosnian and soccer fans in general voted en masse against O’Leary.
On Sunday fans launched a petition to get O’Leary removed as a FIFA referee.
O’Leary’s decisions was the second match on Saturday to be impacted by game-changing controversial calls.
Iran, looking for their first win in the tournament, had a legitimate penalty kick appeal denied in the 55th minute of a 1-0 loss to Argentina when Ashkan Dejagah was tripped in the penalty area by Pablo Zabaleta.
DON’T FORGET TO VOTE IN OUR POLL FOR WORST REFEREE AT THE 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP:
Who is the worst referee at the FIFA 2014 World Cup?
- Enrique Osses, Chile (0%, 62 Votes)
- Nawaf Shukralla, Bahrain (0%, 66 Votes)
- Mark Geiger, United States (0%, 88 Votes)
- Noumandiez Desire Doue, Ivory Coast (0%, 88 Votes)
- Jonas Eriksson, Sweden (0%, 91 Votes)
- Joel Aguilar, El Salvador (0%, 95 Votes)
- Bakary Papa Gassama, Gambia (0%, 127 Votes)
- Meira Sandro Ricci, Brazil (0%, 134 Votes)
- Carlos Vera, Ecuador (0%, 140 Votes)
- Felix Brych, Germany (0%, 146 Votes)
- Bjorn Kuipers, Netherlands (0%, 146 Votes)
- Cuneyt Cakir, Turkey (0%, 147 Votes)
- Nestor Pitana, Argentina (0%, 152 Votes)
- Ravshan Irmatov, Uzbeckistan (0%, 155 Votes)
- Ben Williams, Australia (0%, 169 Votes)
- Nicola Rizzoli, Italy (0%, 266 Votes)
- Howard Webb, England (0%, 276 Votes)
- Djamel Haimoudi, Ivory Coast (0%, 301 Votes)
- Wilmar Roldan, Colombia (0%, 411 Votes)
- Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Mexico (0%, 491 Votes)
- Pedro Proenca, Portugal (1%, 624 Votes)
- Carlos Velasco Carballo, Spain (1%, 686 Votes)
- Yuichi Nishimura, Japan (2%, 2,067 Votes)
- Peter O'Leary, New Zealand (15%, 16,075 Votes)
- Milorad Mazic, Serbia (79%, 87,362 Votes)
Total Voters: 110,365