Being a rugby official is by and large a thankless task. Good decisions are just overlooked as doing your job and bad one’s are lambasted, often leading to intense scrutiny and abuse.
Having said that, there are occasions in which it is difficult not to pull your hair out at the mind-boggling decisions some officials make.
Here are five of the most controversial decisions in soccer history:
Most controversial refereeing decisions in rugby:
1. Speargate on the Lions Tour
The first game of the Lions tour of New Zealand was swept into controversy following a horrific spear tackle on Captain Brian O’Driscoll, which ended his tour within minutes. The tackle, with O’Driscoll picked up by two players in the ruck, was against the rules, but the ref waved play on.
The moment caused a major knock-on effect in World Rugby, tightening up restrictions on spear tackling.