FIFA World Cup Great Moments: Frank Lampard’s ‘Ghost Goal’ Against Germany

Frank Lampard and England players watched in dismay as their goal was disallowed in the 2010 FIFA World Cup match against Germany.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer watches the ball go over the line.

Frank Lampard’s ‘ghost goal’ against Germany in the 2010 FIFA World Cup was probably the incident that inspired the goal-line technology that we have today.

Trailing 1-2 with 37 minutes into the match, England midfielder Lampard found Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer off his line and went for a long ranger, which hit the underside of the crossbar. The English players, including Lampard, unsuccessfully pleaded their case with referee Jorge Larrionda.

The tonality of the commentators, which was until now unruffled, found a few high bars, with Guy Mowbray heard saying, “It’s surely crossed the line! Jorge Larrionda has made a huge call.”

It was!

The replays showed the ball going over the line by two or three feet.

The decision was met by jeers from the crowd.

To add salt to the wound, Germany scored two more goals, with the English players still reeling from the disallowed goal.

Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president at the time, was forced to apologise to England for the referee’s error.

The use of goal-line technology was a huge debate in the years that followed. By 2012, the need for it was realised and the technology took centre stage in the subsequent Club World Cup.

The 2013-14 Premier League season saw VAR being used for the first time and it became an integral part of the 2014 World Cup, too.

Years later, reminiscing about the goal being not awarded to England and the implementation of VAR, Lampard said, “It changed the game for the better”.