World Cup controversies: the goal annulled against Spain in the 2002 World Cup between accusations of bribery and resignations

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Egyptian referee Gamal Al-Ghandour invalidated two Spaniards' scores against host South Korea. One of them at the request of his line, who assured that the ball had come out but was several centimeters inside

World Cup controversies: the goal disallowed to Spain ;a in the 2002 World Cup between accusations of bribery and resignations


Miguel ScimeThe Two Controversies In Spain-South Korea In 2002

The World Cup 2002 had a historic event for Asian football because for the first time in history there was a joint organization of the contest which included two countries from that region: Japan and South Korea. The Korean cast even had a performance that surprised the planet after advancing to the stage by finishing first in their group above the United States, Portugal and Poland. That host cast would finish in fourth placebut with a fact that covered their advance to the semifinals with suspicion.

The Koreans faced Spain for the quarterfinal clash on June 22 in Gwangju. That afternoon, the Egyptian referee Gamal Al-Ghandour was going to have a performance to forget, after having annulled two goals against Furia.

After invalidating the first goal scored by Rubén Baraja, alleging that there was a prior foul by Iván Helguera at the time of the definition, the main judge made a very serious mistake at the start of extra time: he annulled a second goal from Spain because he crudely understood that the The ball had left the field of play before ending up in the back of the net.

The cameras did not lie and it was clear that when Joaquín Sánchez launched the cross that would end in as much by Fernando Morientes the ball was inside the field by several centimeters. Trinidad and Tobago's linesman Michael Ragoonath immediately raised the flag from him, being supported by the main judge,

Spain, which tied 0-0 in regular time, ended up being eliminated for penalties. The Korean team, to make matters worse, came from beating Italy in extra time (2-1) in the round of 16 in a match full of arbitration controversies. After the clash against the Spanish, they lost to Germany in the semi-finals and also lost to Turkey in the third place clash (3-2).

“The Spanish press attacked me a lot for my refereeing. But, in fact, it was one of the best matches of my career”, said the Egyptian in the documentary The Others of the Spanish network Vamos . “He says it was his best game. I wonder what the others would be like, but each one is as they are”, Morientes contracted in that production.

“I think that in 2002 I had a better performance, always clarifying the following: I speak of my own decisions, of what I decided, without taking responsibility for my assistants. The mistakes of my assistants should not be counted towards my performance”, he commented in a note with Marca of 2022. “ I did not receive money from the Koreans, I did not referee in favor of any team. I am a Muslim and I know how to distinguish between what is permitted and what is prohibited”, he warned in the aforementioned documentary among the suspicions that arose about what happened.

This error that has been so commented on by the media led to a suggestive resignation of the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Ángel María Villar, from his position on the Referees Commission hours after the match. At that time, FIFA spokesman Keith Cooper came out to clarify that there was no conspiracy to help Korea. Months later, Villar tried to placate the scandal that caused his resignation and said that he was not linked to what happened in the clash despite the fact that he presented it hours after the Spanish elimination: “I did not agree with the way of proceeding of the Commission for reasons that I have already explained in the pertinent forums”.

That Spanish platel directed by José Antonio Camacho had among outstanding surnames Iker Casillas, Fernando Hierro, Carles Puyol and Luis Enrique, among others. They had just eliminated Ireland on penalties after qualifying undefeated in the group stage that they shared with Paraguay, South Africa and Slovenia.

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