Paris: Under-fire World Cup referee Uruguayan Jorge Larrionda was no stranger to controversy prior to his blunder in the World Cup last 16 match between Germany and England last night.
Larrionda, who ruled along with his linesman that England midfielder Frank Lampard`s shot had not gone over the line when it clearly had and which would have made the score 2-2 with Germany before half-time, was suspended in 2002 for six months by his national Football Association over `irregularities`.
That ruled the man known by some as `Red Card Larrionda` out of officiating at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea.
The 42-year-old has also incurred the wrath of the United States side twice, most notably in the 2006 World Cup when, in a group match with eventual champions Italy, he red-carded three players - two of them American.
Serbian coach Radomir Antic is no fan of his either having been outraged after Larrionda turned down appeals for a penalty for handball against Tim Cahill in their concluding group match against Australia last Wednesday.
Had it been given, and Serbia scored, they and not Ghana would have progressed to the last 16 and a clash with the United States.
"The referee did not want to see it," said Antic afterwards. "We did not get fair treatment."
Lampard`s `goal` is also not the first time that Larrionda has ruled that the ball did not go over the line when it did as was the case in 2004 in a match between Brazil and Colombia in a 2006 World Cup qualifier.
Brazilian striker Adriano`s shot hit the bar and came down clearly over the line but the Uruguayan ruled it had not.
Italian referee Roberto Rosetti, who refereed the Euro 2008 final, also came under the spotlight for allowing the first Argentinian goal in the 3-1 win over Mexico despite the scorer Carlos Tevez being clearly offside.
However, the 42-year-old hospital director - who was one of the few Italian referees not to be implicated in the matchfixing scandal back in 2006 - escaped total censure from aggrieved Mexican coach Javier Aguirre.
"Referees have to make split-second decisions and they can spoil everything, it happens."