2011 Women's World Cup Video: Watch Horrific Hand Ball Go Uncalled in Group Play

Tom KinslowFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2011

In all sports, human error is part of the drama.

Whether it be the athletes, the coaches or the referees, mistakes are bound to happen, and sometimes, they can impact the course of a match.

All we hope is that they're not glaring, unfortunate errors that can stain a contest.

That is exactly what happened in a match at the 2011 Women's World Cup between Australia and Equatorial Guinea.

One of the biggest rules in world football is not to touch the ball with your hands. It is literally the first thing they teach you when you're growing up playing the sport. 

You would think the referees, especially on a stage like the World Cup, would know that rule and enforce it to its fullest extent.

Well, you'd be wrong.

As you can see in the video, Australia hits the post, and in the ensuing scramble, an opposing defender picks up the ball, turns around and starts to walk with it, only to drop it on the pitch as the attacking team screams for a penalty kick.

There was no whistle, no discussion, nothing.

Play continued as the shocked Australian side tried to compose itself and move on from the fiasco. Luckily for the referee, the call did not dramatically impact the game, as Australia won, 3-2. 

However, that missed opportunity may come into play at the end of the group stage, where Australia will need to beat out Norway for the final spot in the knockout stages.

It was a horrible, horrible call, only magnified by the stage of play. You cannot have referees missing a blatant hand ball in the World Cup.

I have never seen a team so shocked by a decision in my life, and the official is lucky that Australia wasn't caught off guard by the horrid decision and let up a goal on the other end.

That referee should never officiate another World Cup match, and rightfully so after that dreadful display.