FIFA referee Milorad Mazic has won the poll for worst referee of the 2014 World Cup.
Mazic captured an overwhelming 81 per cent of the vote with 87,361 votes cast against him in the poll conducted by RedCardTheRef.com when voting concluded on Wednesday, July 16, at 9 p.m. (EDT).
Over 110,000 fans voted in the poll driving the traffic of the popular referee blog through the roof during this year’s tournament with over 137,000 visitors from June 12 when the tournament began to its conclusion on July 13.
Mazic, you will recall, became the target of a mass-voting campaign by fans of Iran after the referee failed to award a second half penalty kick to Ashkan Dejagah in their Group Stage match against Argentina on June 21st.
“We were overwhelmed and flooded with an amazing number of votes and set a traffic records as a direct result of Mazic’s decision in Iran’s second match of the tournament versus Argentina,” said RedCardTheRef editor Peter Mallett. “We were happy to provide an outlet for fans of Iran’s football team and fans of other nations but deeply disturbed by some of the horrible refereeing decisions at this year’s tournament.
Closest to Mazic was New Zealand referee Peter O’Leary whose bungling of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s match against Nigeria on the same day drew a similar angry response and flood of 16,075 votes cast against him for 15 per cent of the vote.
Bosnia-Herzegovina fans were outraged at O’Leary after he disallowed Edin Dzeko’s first half-goal for offside while replays showed the Manchester City striker was clearly in an offside position.
Eight minutes after the first gaffe, the Super Eagles scored their controversial game-winning goal when Bosnian defender Emir Spahic had his legs clipped out by Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike just outside the penalty area. 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.
Photos of O’Leary celebrating with Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama after the match (see right) precipitated an online petition to have the referee banned from football.
Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura took third spot with 2,067 votes, for 2 per cent of the vote, most of which came after his decision to award a penalty kick to Brazil in the tournament’s opening match versus Croatia.
Nishimura pointed to the spot after he ruled Brazil forward Fred had been fouled by Croatia defender Dejan Lovren but television replays plainly indicated Fred had dived on the play.
The decision tarnished the tournament curtain-raiser as Nishimura became the subject of harsh criticism from media outlets around the world.
“Croatian supporters – sheep sheared by FIFA,” trumpeted the index.hr website.
Meanwhile in Argentina – Brazil’s fiercest rivals – the press also slammed the decision with thenewspaper Ole leading with the headline Nashimura “Are you ashamed?”
We hope you had a chance to cast your vote in our poll for worst referee at the World Cup but if not the kickoff of the English Premier League is just weeks away.
It will be interesting to see if Howard Webb, two-time winner of our poll for the worst referee in the English Premier League will retain his title. We will announce details of our EPL poll next month ahead of the season opener between Manchester United and Swansea on August 16.
Full results of our World Cup poll are listed below.
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