In football, where passions run as high as the soaring balls, referees are the unsung jesters amidst the royal battle for goals.

But occasionally, their antics add a sprinkle of comedy to the intense drama unfolding on the green stage.

Whether it’s the referee who mistook a player for another in a case of mistaken identity, or the one who unwittingly became the scorer, their unplanned comical contributions are the cherries  on top of the football entertainment sundae.   

So let's take a look at the 7 best and funniest refereeing moments that had us in stitches...

Referee Falls Over, Scores a Goal (2019)

During a Dutch lower league game, referee Maurice Paarhuis accidentally scored a goal. The ball hit his foot and went into the net, and as per the rules, the goal stood, much to the amusement of the spectators.

The incident took place in a Dutch fourth-tier game between Harkemase Boys and HSV Hoek. The home side was leading 3-1 when referee Maurice Paarhuis accidentally scored a goal for HSV Hoek during a chaotic moment near the goalmouth, making the score 3-2.

Despite protests from Harkemase Boys, Paarhuis allowed the goal to stand - even though HE had scored it!

However, the final score was 4-2 in favour of Harkemase Boys. The goal was officially credited to Hoek's Rik Impens, the last player to touch the ball before Paarhuis.

Referee Sprays Vanishing Foam on Players' Boots (2014)

What happens when the referee gets a little carried away with the foam? 

During a friendly match between Mexico and Portugal leading up to the 2014 World Cup, the referee was using vanishing foam to mark the required distance for a free-kick when he accidentally sprayed it over the boots of the players forming the wall.

The funny accident led to laughter among the players and spectators and was a rare shared moment of humour in the sport.

Referee Attacks Player (2013)

Is that a gun in your pocket or you just happy to be refereeing??

In 2015, during an amateur match in Brazil, referee Gabriel Murta, also a police officer, was assaulted by a player.

Upset, Murta went to the locker room, retrieved a handgun, and returned to the pitch, threatening the player. Fortunately, no shots were fired and other officials restrained Murta.

I know the Brazilians are passionate about football but this takes things a little too far...

Paul Alcock's Tumble (1998)

Everyone can be 'pushed' too far!

In a 1998 Premier League match between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal, Paolo Di Canio was shown a red card by referee Paul Alcock.

Di Canio, upset with the decision, shoved Alcock who stumbled backward and comically fell to the ground. The incident was both shocking due to its unsportsmanlike conduct, and also a little bit funny due to the exaggerated fall.

Di Canio received an 11-match ban and a fine for his actions, which became one of the most memorable moments of misconduct towards officials in football history.

Referee Chased by Players (2011)

Run Referee Run!!

In 2011, during a Brazilian football match, a controversial penalty decision by the referee led to players chasing him across the field, because they just didn't agree with him. 

The referee, demonstrating remarkable speed and agility, managed to evade the pursuing players as he sprinted across the pitch to avoid a potentially dangerous confrontation. 

Maybe they just wanted a friendly chat??

Sending The Wrong Player Off - Oh Referee!! (2014)

He should have gone to Specsavers (or any optician really!) 

In a 2014 comical football blunder, referee Andre Marriner seemed to have mixed up his Gunners during a Chelsea-Arsenal match. When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handballed it on the goal line, Marriner mistakenly flashed the red card to Kieran Gibbs, much to everyone's surprise.

Even Oxlade-Chamberlain's honest admission of "Ref, it was me!" couldn’t save Gibbs from taking an early shower.

The spectacle was like a scene out of a football blooper reel, leaving fans and players both amused and bewildered at the referee's mistaken identity caper.

Referee Gets The Coin Toss Wrong (2016)

Heads or Tails? Hmmm neither??

During the 2016 Copa America match between Colombia and Paraguay, a quirky incident unfolded when the referee's coin toss landed on its side.

This unusual occurrence left everyone, including the referee and player James Rodriguez, astonished. The referee resolved the situation by simply conducting a re-toss. 

During the 2016 Copa America match between Colombia and Paraguay, a quirky incident unfolded when the referee's coin toss landed on its side.

This unusual occurrence left everyone, including the referee and player James Rodriguez, astonished. The referee resolved the situation by simply conducting a re-toss. 

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