Six times referees ‘lost the plot’ from booting player to three yellow cards

There’s no doubt in today's climate referees have a tough time.

If they muck up, they face an abundance of scrutiny, whether that be from the players on the pitch protesting their decisions, the crowd, or even pundits on television.

Human error will of course occur from time to time, but there have been some occasions when their decisions and actions have been outright bizarre.

Here Daily Star Sport take a look at the six most notable times in which referees really did lose the plot, with one official having been accused of losing his head as recently as this week's Champions League ties.

Danny Makkelie

Just this month, Atletico Madrid star Felipe was shown a straight red card while taking on Liverpool in the Champions League.

The player was initially booked for his tackle on Sadio Mane but the yellow seemed to turn to red after he didn’t obey the referee’s instructions.

However, UEFA cleared this up days after, saying the sending off was for the foul.

The official guidelines state: “Violence is the use or use of excessive force or atrocities against an opponent when the player is not challenging the ball, or against teammates, team officials, match officials, spectators, or others. If you are trying, with or without contact.

“In addition, a player who deliberately hits the head or face of an opponent or another person with his or her hand or arm while not challenging the ball is guilty of violence unless the force used is not negligible. "

Michael Oliver

During Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League clash with Ajax, the Premier League’s own Michael Oliver sent off Mats Hummels for his tackle.

At first glance, it does look quite nasty, but the replays showed the German getting the ball first.

After the game, the 32-year-old German blasted the decision of Brit, saying via DAZN: "I have no idea how you can give a red card there.

"I stayed on the pitch. When he showed me the red card, I was in disbelief. That was an absurdly bad decision.

"You shouldn't ignore the diving of my opponent. It's grossly unsportsmanlike conduct.

"He [Antony] came to me and said himself that it was not a red card.”

"This is a farce, this is ridiculous. He's a super footballer, but he still needs to learn how to be a sportsman."

What're your biggest memories of referees mucking up? Let us know in the comments section.

Darren Drysdale

During Ipswich's League One match with Northampton on February 16, 2021, Darren Drysdale reacted angrily in an on-field confrontation with Ipswich midfielder Alan Judge.

Drysdale was charged by the FA with improper conduct after he got into the face of Judge and pressed heads with him.

The referee was given a ban which ran from February 19 to March 10, before being cleared to officiate once again.

Tony Chapron

In a game between Nantes and PSG in Ligue 1 back in 2018, referee Tony Chapron was seen chasing the passage of play up the field.

Diego Carlos, now at Sevilla, tripped him – whether this was deliberate or not is a matter of discussion – and the fallen referee then kicked out at the player, in some quite wild scenes.

The centre-back was then given a second yellow and given his marching orders – before this decision was later rescinded.

Chapron, who had been a full-time referee since 1998, was given a six-month suspension and left the game soon after to go into punditry.

Graham Poll

During the 2006 World Cup, Graham Poll did something referees have nightmares about as he produced three yellow cards for one player.

Australia were facing Croatia when Josip Simunic was handed three yellows before finally sending him off.

After the final whistle of the 2-2- draw, the lucky Croatian felt emboldened enough to give Poll a push, before the Brit handed out the player’s third yellow and third red card.

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Marco Di Bello

This bizarre sending off occurred in a Serie A contest between Venezia and Salernitana.

The Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu was handed a straight red by Marco Di Bello after he slide in on Franck Ribery.

The 21-year-old defender was only on the pitch for 20 minutes before being given a straight red what was clearly an inch-perfect tackle, executed brilliantly.

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