The coronavirus pandemic has brought sport to a halt, allowing time to look back on some of the best – and worst – moments.
Here, the PA news agency selects 10 of the most memorable mistakes in sporting history.
‘Hand of God’
England crashed out of the 1986 World Cup following a major blunder from Tunisian referee Ali Bin Nasser and his Bulgarian assistant Bogdan Dochev in a controversial 2-1 defeat to eventual winners Argentina. The pair failed to spot Diego Maradona punch home the opening goal of the quarter-final at the Estadio Azteca after rising above goalkeeper Peter Shilton, an incident dubbed the ‘Hand of God’. A dazzling second from Maradona four minutes later proved to be the winner, with a late strike from tournament top scorer Gary Lineker insufficient for incredulous England.
Devon Loch hits the deck
Rookie referee Stuart Attwell, aged just 25, and his assistant Nigel Bannister baffled fans at Watford in September 2008 by awarding a phantom goal to visitors Reading. Farcical scenes ensued when, following a 13th-minute Royals corner, Bannister flagged for a goal after the ball bounced over the line around four yards wide of the right post. The bizarre incident went down as a John Eustace own goal and caused Hornets boss Aidy Boothroyd – who saw his side concede a late Stephen Hunt penalty to draw 2-2 – to be sent off for his understandable protestations. “A monumental howler,” was Boothroyd’s damning verdict.
South Africa stumped
An embarrassing communication breakdown between batsmen Allan Donald and Lance Klusener cost South Africa a spot in the 1999 Cricket World Cup final. With three balls remaining at Edgbaston, the Proteas required a single run to defeat Australia. After mishitting a Damien Fleming delivery to Mark Waugh at mid-off, Klusener attempted to wrap up the contest with a risky single. Donald was not on the same wavelength and chose to remain in his crease at the non-striker’s end, leaving their opponents with a simple run-out. The match finished tied and Australia, who progressed due to finishing higher in the Super Six table, went on to be crowned champions by defeating Pakistan at Lord’s.
Roberto robbed by major error
Louganis bounces back
Undoubtedly the most painful entry on the list, diver Greg Louganis remarkably recovered from whacking his head on the three-metre springboard to win Olympic gold. The American suffered a concussion and required stitches having sustained a nasty-looking gash after misjudging a dive in the heats at Seoul in 1988. Leading by eight points, he left the board too straight while attempting a reverse two and a half somersault in pike position and clattered his head as he straightened out. Louganis ended the Games having retained gold in the three-metre springboard and 10-metre platform disciplines following his initial successes in Los Angeles four years earlier.