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Poll: Does Baird’s red rank up there with the oddest ref shouts?

| 08.09.2015

While Northern Ireland will be celebrating keeping their Euro 2016 qualification hopes alive with a late equaliser against Hungary on Monday night, the point came at a cost.

Derby County’s Chris Baird was shown a red card late in the game in an incident you don’t see too often on a football pitch.

In the 82nd minute, the defender appeared to clip the heels of one opposing player off the ball, before bringing down another in a clumsy challenge.

Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir halted play, and booked Baird for the initial challenge.

He wasn’t done there though, pointing to where the second incident happened, showing the 33-year-old another yellow and giving him his marching orders.

Whether it was the right decision or not is open to question, but it was a bizarre incident that’s for sure.

It is also the feature of today’s poll, as we ask readers where it ranks among other wacky refereeing calls, to determine the strangest decision of the lot.

Here’s the incident in full, plus the four challengers for the title…

Graham Poll’s three yellow cards

Getting it wrong on the biggest stage of the lot can come back to haunt referees, as Graham Poll found out.

During Croatia’s World Cup match with Australia in 2006, the English ref showed Josip Simunic a yellow card and got on with the game. All well and good, were it not for the fact that the Croatian defender had already been booked.

Instead it took until Poll was forced to show a third yellow to give Simunic his marching orders, with the accent of the stopper, who was actually born and raised in Oz, given as the stem of the confusion.

Andre Marriner getting the wrong man

Diving across the six yard box, and handballing to prevent a Chelsea goal, Andre Marriner made the right decision to send an Arsenal defender off at Stamford bridge in March 2014.

Unfortunately for him and the Gunners, he picked the wrong one, giving Kieran Gibbs his marching orders instead of the perpetrator Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as the visitors went on to be smashed 6-0.

Stuart Attwell’s phantom goal

As the ball pinged around the penalty area, Watford defenders visibly breathed a sigh of relief as they managed to stifle Reading’s advances in this 2008 Championship fixture.

Clearing any danger the job looked to be done. But referee Stuart Attwell insisted that at some point the ball had crossed the line and awarded a goal to the hosts.

Despite the fact that the ball had done no such thing and no Reading player even appealed for a goal, the decision stood.

Ref turns striker

As a striker it can sometimes be about being in the right place at the right time, and so it proved in a 1986-87 Turkish league match between Ankaragucu and Besiktas – only this striker was wearing a referee’s strip.

As the ball pinged around the goal-mouth it required the head of the man in charge to put the ball in the back of the net.

Ankaragucu  wheeled off in celebration and bizarrely the goal stood to hand the hosts a last gasp victory.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.