Did Geoff Hurst’s World Cup Goal Cross The Line?
The biggest match of their football careers, England and West Germany squared off in the 1966 World Cup final and it was a doozie. The relatively easily matched game was compelling throughout. After ending all even in the first 90, they went to extra time. In extra time, however, Geoff Hurst took a shot off a cross that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down along the goal line. After a moment of uncertainty head referee Gottfried Dienst consulted his linesman Tofik Bakhramov and ruled it a goal, giving Hurst his hat trick and England a lead. Tons of fans watching in the stadium as well as the 400 million watching at home questioned whether the ball crossed the line, and arguments ensued across the globe. England went on to score another goal and won the match 4-2, giving them their first and only World Cup win. But the goal has lived in infamy for it's inconclusive nature in the form of Adidas and Kit Kat commercials.
Verdict: Watching the playback, eight out of 10 times that's ruled no goal. This one took place on the biggest stage and was the biggest goal of the game, so it's pretty inexcusable of Dienst to make that ruling when it was that questionable. Had England not scored the fourth goal for good measure it'd be an even bigger controversy.