List of 2002 FIFA World Cup controversies

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The 2002 FIFA World Cup created numerous controversies, mainly on the standard of refereeing.



In total Italy had at least 3 goals disallowed in the finals, 2 against Croatia, and one against South Korea.

One result of the officiating controversies was the introduction of the requirement of the referee and assistants speaking the same language, to avoid possible communication errors.[1][2][3]

Turkey vs Brazil (group stage)

Rivaldo was criticized for simulation that got a Turkish player sent off. While the ball was kicked at Rivaldo's thighs, he went down clutching his face.

England vs Argentina

In the England-Argentina group stage game, Michael Owen is believed to have dived over Pocchettino's leg to win the penalty that produced the only goal.

Italy vs South Korea

The round of 16 match between Italy and South Korea refereed by Ecuadorian Byron Moreno was particularly controversial.

The Italians had a goal disallowed, as well as Francesco Totti sent off after receiving a second yellow card for allegedly diving in the penalty area.

Spain vs South Korea

Spain had two goals disallowed in this match, although the whistle was blown before the 2nd one.

USA vs Germany

A German defender handled the ball on the goal line, but no goal or penalty was given.


In the Cameroun vs Germany match, 16 yellow cards were shown to 14 different players (2 players - one per side - being sent off as a result for a second yellow).


External links

Scandal of World Cup 2002 South Korea vs Portugal , Italy , Spain

Template:2002 FIFA World Cup