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You’re having a laugh ref!

After Coventry were denied a goal that crossed the line and Chelsea were gifted one that didn’t, there will be plenty of people this week enduring the churning wrench of sporting injustice.

Mind you, at least fans of Coventry and Spurs still have something to fight for, which is more than can be said for this lot:

Roy Jones Jnr – 1988 Olympics

As we witnessed in the World Cup of 2002, South Koreans fair preternaturally well on home soil, and so it was in boxing at the Seoul Olympics of 1988.

Having cruised through to the final of the tournament without losing a single round, Jones proceeded to smash Korean opponent Park Si-Hun round the ring, landing an incredible 86 punches to Park’s 32.

Yet the judges – who it transpired had been wined and dined by Korean officials – saw things differently and awarded the gold medal to Park.

Jones went on to become one of the greatest fighters of all time. Park didn’t. And despite widespread outrage, the result still stands today.

Chesterfield – 1997 FA Cup semi-final

No third tier side has ever reached an FA Cup final and, with refereeing decisions like the one that cost Chesterfield, it’s no surprise.

With the Spireites (including a young Kevin Davies) 2-1 up and a man to the good against a Middlesbrough side containing the likes of Juninho, Emerson and Fabrizio Ravanelli, Jonathan Howard smashed a peach of a shot off the bar.

Even to the naked eye, it bounced down and over the line, but neither referee David Elleray nor his assistant gave it. Chesterfield’s chance was gone.

Boro equalised, the game finished 3-3 after extra-time and the Premier League outfit eventually won the replay 3-0.

USA basketball team – 1972 Olympics

Still one of the biggest grudge matches in sport Russia v USA needs no extra spice, yet that’s what it got in Munich.

On two separate occasions, the final horn sounded with the United States leading the Soviet Union by a point. Yet for a reason that remains unknown, the clock was reset both times because of “confusion”.

Given a third opportunity, the Soviets threw the ball the length of the court and scored a basket as time expired to win the gold medal. After their protest was denied, the United States refused to accept the silver medals.

Norwich City – 1985

When Norwich finished the season with a 3-1 win at Chelsea, things were looking pretty rosy.

They were looking forward to first ever European campaign thanks to victory in the League Cup and, though relegation rivals Coventry still had three to play, they would need to win them all to send Norwich down – including a match against runaway champions Everton.

Lo and behold, they did just that. Everton, having won everything in sight, had long ago clocked off and Coventry trounced a weakened side 4-1 to stay up. UEFA then announced that English clubs would be banned from Europe following the Heysel disaster.

By Chris Dunlavy, The Football League Paper


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