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Ref Gives Three Bookings to One Player
The Guardian, June 23rd, 2006 3:08PM



Graham Poll, England's only referee at the World Cup, will not be moving on to the next round, unlike his compatriots. The man widely regarded as one of Britain's best referees had a terrible time yesterday overseeing the crucial Group F decider between Croatia and Australia. Poll bizarrely booked one player three times before sending him off, blew for full-time just as Australia's game-winner was crossing the line, and he also missed a blatant Croatian handball in the area. The latter incident occurred while Australia was still trailing Croatia and badly in need of an equalizer. Poll gave Croatia defender Josip Simunic his second booking on 90 minutes, and then gave him a third for dissent along with a red card after the match had finished. No referee in World Cup history has ever failed to send off a player for two bookable offenses; certainly no ref in the tournament's history has ever booked a player three times. Prior to that, Poll called time on the game as Australia's Tim Cahill was pulling away in celebration after putting the ball in the net.

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