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Controversial refereeing decisions

  • Story Highlights
  • Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo has come under fire for his decisions
  • Ovrebo joins a long list of referees to attract high-profile criticism
  • CNN's Football Fanzone lists some of the worst calls ever made
  • Tell us if you have any shocking decisions that should be on the list
By Mike Steere
For CNN
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo is at the center of furious debate as to whether his decisions denied Chelsea their place in the Champions League final.

Free foul? Harald Schumacher was not punished for this leaping challenge on France's Patrick Battiston.

Germany's Harald Schumacher was not punished for this leaping challenge on France's Patrick Battiston.

He incurred the wrath of Chelsea players and fans who believe he waved away at least four penalty decisions that would have signaled victory for the team.

Didier Drogba approached Ovrebo after the match and swore into television cameras, while manager Guus Hiddink and captain John Terry have also voiced their anger at the refereeing calls.

Barcelona were also aggrieved when Eric Abidal was sent off.

The furor surrounding Ovrebo is not the first time -- and will certainly not be the last -- a referee has found himself or herself in the firing line from irate players and fans.

Debate: Chelsea- Bad decision or bad losers?

Below is a look at some of the controversial refereeing decisions of all time.

Are there any other shocking decisions you think should be included? Let us know in the Sound Off box below.

World's worst refereeing calls:

1. France v Germany 1982

It is hard to think of a worse foul that has gone unpunished than that which saw French striker Patrick Battiston be stretchered off unconscious and with a broken jaw during a World Cup semi-final. Battiston had been played into the clear with just German keeper Harald Schumacher to beat. Schumacher launched himself into the air and went past the ball, crashing his hip into Battiston's head -- seriously injuring him. Battiston was carried off and spent months recovering, while Schumacher continued on and was awarded the goal-kick.

2. Argentina v England 1986

While the foul on Battiston was horrific, the "Hand of God" still remains as one of the game's most infamous moments. During a World Cup quarter-final between the sides, Diego Maradona leapt high into the air to compete for the ball with England goal-keeper Peter Shilton. From the contest Maradona raised his arm and managed to fist the ball into the back of the net -- helping his side to a 2-1 win over England. They went on to win the World Cup.

3. Brazil v Sweden 1978

Welsh referee Clive Thomas fell out of favor with Brazilian fans when, in a group match, Brazil's Zico headed a goal from a corner late in the match -- only to find that Thomas had already blown the full-time whistle. The goal would have been a winner for the Brazilians, but instead the match ended 1-1.

4. Croatia v Australia 2006

In one of the most high-profile gaffes by a referee in modern football, English referee Graham Poll gave Croatian player Josip Simunic three yellow cards before finally sending him off during the World Cup match. The match ended a 2-2 draw -- enough to send Australia through to the knockout stages. Poll subsequently retired from refereeing international finals matches, citing the error as his reason.

Football Fanzone
Football fans, the chance to have YOUR say on CNN is here!

5. Cameroon v Nigeria 2000

Tunisian referee Mourad Daami's decision to disallow a legitimate penalty for Nigeria during the shootout of the African Nations Cup final may not have been the worst error ever seen -- but it certainly had serious results. After Victor Ikpeba's penalty had clearly crossed the line after hitting the crossbar, Daami ruled it hadn't and Cameroon won the shootout 4-3 and took the title. The decision sparked anger and unrest among the home Nigerian crowd after the game.

6. England v Germany 1966

It has never been proven, but the German players and fans have long insisted that Geoff Hurst's first extra-time goal of the World Cup final never crossed the line. Regardless of what the truth is, the goal was awarded and Hurst went on to score another, giving England the World Cup crown.

7. South Korea v Spain & South Korea v Italy 2002

Both Spain and Italy were victims of harsh decisions in their World Cup matches against the joint host South Korea. Spain had two goals disallowed in their game. The Guus Hiddink-coached Koreans eventually made it through to the semi-final of the tournament -- so the Chelsea manager can't claim to always be on the wrong end of tight decisions.

8. England v Portugal 2004

This quarter-final of the 2004 European Championships looked to be going the way of England when Sol Campbell scored a last minute winner -- only for it to be ruled out by Swiss referee Urs Meier, who instead penalized John Terry for allegedly fouling the Portuguese keeper. England lost the game on penalties and Meier was bombarded with hate mail.

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