Bio
Graham Poll
Born: 1963-07-29
Intl. since: 1996-01-01
Hometown: Tring
Country: England
Speaks: English
Occupation: referee / General sales manager
Hobbies: Wine

From 1996 until 2007 Graham Poll was active at a number of international tournaments. Euro 2000, World Cup 2004 and World Cup 2006, the 2000 FA Cup final and in 2005 the UEFA Cup final. An enormous list of important matches, but he will be remembered, tragically, for one match only and what happened there in extra time.

the end? No

Three big tournaments and every time something went wrong. In 2000 when he was sent home after two matches, in 2002 he did only one match and was sent home because of an assistant who canceled two goals, and then there was the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Poll officiated three matches in the first round and then he was sent home for booking the same player three times.

After the debacle he announced that he was going to end his international career and focus on his own country. In an interview shortly after he admitted his mistake, but added (after all the rage and scorn of English newspapers) that nothing really bad had happened. That it was only a game. Still a week later it was announced all had been a mistake, Poll wasn't going to retire internationally. He was back in 2007, albeit in the UEFA cup.

quit

Graham Poll stopped refereeing May 2007 and told why in an interview with the BBC and later in a book. Continuing bad press, a foul-mouthing Mourinho (Chelsea coach), players who lied about him in the press, abuse directed at him and his family from spectators and the lack of support by the FA made him come to the decision he had had enough.


the mistake

Poll writes that Josip Simunic, the man he yellow carded 3 times, was an Australian born Croat, who spoke with a broad Aussie accent. Poll accidentally wrote down the second caution (a C in his notebook) next to the Australian number 3.

Neither Poll nor his assistants nor the 4th referee (Kevin Stott), nor the 5th official (who has a monitor), noticed anything during the match. Poll says he doesn't blame them (he may a little bit...), he was the man responsible.
But we can. They should have noticed, that is what they are there for as well.

None of the Aussies noticed it either. The Croats did, of course, and one player later apologized to Poll.

In his own words

Because of events in the first leg, there was a lot of tension at the start of my match, so I was determined to keep on top of every incident. I also changed my normal positioning and kept much closer to play. Whenever I blew my whistle and the players looked around, I was never more than a few metres away. The pot never over boiled that night.


from: Graham Poll: Geoff Hurst, the hand of God and the biggest rows in world football

Did you know
POLLIE

  • In 2007 he alleged that the FA did not back him in a controversy about sending off John Terry (Chelsea) in a match against Tottenham. The actual sending off did not cause a problem, rather the fact that Chelsea players claimed Poll had told them they needed "to be taught a lesson". Something that other officials ought to be able to overhear (but didn't) through the microphone system referees carry with them.
    By not backing him, Poll said the FA subsequently caused an erosion in the general confidence in Poll's abilities among other clubs and players.
  • "Graham Poll is good for games like these because he makes so many mistakes the players get angry and motivated."
    Jose Mourinho, Chelsea manager, after a Premiership game against Manchester United, May 2007
  • In august 2005 The Sun "Newspaper" reported that Graham Poll was being investigated by the FA and league bodies for alleged drunken antics after a fitness course. This was not true, Poll admits having been drunk that night, and feeling very sorry but he was never under investigation because the FA knew what happened. What did get investigated was who wrote the damaging e-mail and who told the press.
  • Poll is an active contributor to the SOS Children's Villages charity.
  • Because of Uzbeki protests against a decision by referee Yoshida in the original WC 2006 qualifier between Uzbekistan and Bahrain the match was played again. This time Massimo Busacca travelled to Taskent to take charge. Graham Poll got to referee the return match 4 days later. Yoshida had disallowed a Uzbeki penalty and awarded a free kick for Bahrain instead.
  • In 2009 Graham published a book called Seeing Red
    The book starts with Poll standing alone in the Gottlieb-Daimler stadium in Stuttgart after the match Australia - Croatia, 2006, realizing the enormity of his mistake. He writes about sleepless nights, about David Beckham calling him to cheer him up, about his loving family, about friends and then he goes on and on about how he has been treated badly, mainly by the press and by Chelsea players. Poll must be an avid tabloid reader, taking them seriously he even cites the News of the World.
    Al in all Poll is a bit weepy in his book. You'd think time would have changed everybody's perspective a little: so what if you make a mistake: Graham Poll didn't kill anyone, or set his house on fire or put his daughter in a basement for 24 years: he only booked someone three times. It actually is quite funny, one of those stories that enrich the history of football though you understand it is not funny at all for Graham Poll. But it shouldn't be held against him, not even for a day. People make mistakes.
    Poll will be famous for it for ever. Take Lubos Michel or Markus Merk: their book, if there ever is one will never be read by so many people, they will be forgotten soon. Poll won't.
  • After his retirement Graham Poll appeared on World Soccer Daily a football radio show. He has a column in the Daily Mail answering questions by readers on refereeing matters and is seen on tv in sports programs.
Statistics
Statistics for GRAHAM POLL
Totals Home Away Total
Penalties 8 4 12
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 109 155 264
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 5 11 16
Averages Home Away Total
Penalties 0.09 0.05 0.07
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 1.25 1.78 1.52
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 0.06 0.13 0.09

Based on 87 international matches

Matches
MATCHES FOR GRAHAM POLL
Date Score Yellow Red Penalties Fouls
UEFA Cup 2006 - 2007
1/2 finalsSevilla FCOsasuna2007-05-032 - 0 5 (2-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
round of 16PSGBenfica2007-03-082 - 1 4 (2-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2006-2007
group stageAC MilanLille OSC2006-12-060 - 2 1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageOlympiakosAS Roma2006-10-180 - 1 1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageReal MadridDynamo Kyiv2006-09-265 - 1 2 (1-1)1 (0-1)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundSteauaStandard2006-08-232 - 1 8 (3-5)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2008 qualifiers
PolandSerbia2006-09-061 - 1 7 (3-4)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
WC 2006
group stageCroatiaAustralia2006-06-222 - 2 8 (6-2)3 (2-1)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)
group stageSaudi ArabiaUkraine2006-06-190 - 4 6 (3-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageKorea RepublicTogo2006-06-132 - 1 6 (2-4)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2005 - 2006
round of 16Schalke 04Palermo2006-03-163 - 0 7 (2-5)1 (0-1)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2005-2006
1st knockoutJuventusWerder Bremen2006-03-072 - 1 4 (2-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stagePanathinaikosUdinese2005-11-221 - 2 5 (1-4)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stagePSVAC Milan2005-11-011 - 0 3 (0-3)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageLyonOlympiakos2005-10-192 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundBetisMonaco2005-08-091 - 0 5 (2-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Club World Cup 05
1/4 finalsAl Ittihad JeddahAl Ahly2005-12-111 - 0 5 (4-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
WC 2006 qualifiers - Europe
Czech RepublicNorway2005-11-161 - 0 5 (1-4)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
SpainSerbia and Montenegro2005-09-071 - 1 8 (3-5)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
LatviaRussia2005-08-171 - 1 6 (3-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
LatviaPortugal2004-09-040 - 2 4 (1-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
WC 2006 qualifiers - Asia
qualifiersBahrainUzbekistan2005-10-120 - 0 1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2004 - 2005
finalSportingCSKA Moskva2005-05-181 - 3 1 (1-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
friendly
SloveniaGermany2005-03-260 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
GreeceBulgaria2004-02-182 - 0 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
NetherlandsArgentina1999-03-311 - 1 6 (3-3)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
SwedenFrance1998-04-220 - 0 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2004-2005
1st knockoutPortoInternazionale2005-02-231 - 1 4 (1-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageBayern MunichJuventus2004-11-030 - 1 2 (0-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageAC MilanBarcelona2004-10-201 - 0 1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageLeverkusenReal Madrid2004-09-153 - 0 4 (1-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundDjurgårdenJuventus2004-08-251 - 4 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundBaselInternazionale2004-08-111 - 1 4 (3-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2003 - 2004
4th roundPSVAuxerre2004-03-253 - 0 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2003-2004
1st knockoutSparta PragueAC Milan2004-02-240 - 0 2 (0-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stagePortoMarseille2003-11-041 - 0 4 (2-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageJuventusReal Sociedad2003-10-214 - 2 3 (2-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundRosenborgDeportivo La Coruna2003-08-130 - 0 6 (3-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2004 qualifiers
play-offsSpainNorway2003-11-152 - 1 4 (1-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
BelgiumCroatia2003-09-102 - 1 7 (2-5)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
DenmarkNorway2003-06-071 - 0 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
LithuaniaGermany2002-09-070 - 2 4 (1-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2002-2003
1/4 finalsBarcelonaJuventus2003-04-221 - 2 9 (3-6)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
2nd group stageDortmundReal Madrid2003-02-251 - 1 3 (3-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageClub BruggeBarcelona2002-10-290 - 1 5 (1-4)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundDynamo KyivLevski Sofia2002-08-281 - 0 6 (2-4)0 (0-0)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2002 - 2003
1/4 finalsBesiktasLazio2003-03-201 - 2 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
3rd roundPortoLens2002-11-283 - 0 4 (2-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
WC 2002
group stageItalyCroatia2002-06-081 - 2 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2001 - 2002
1/2 finalsDortmundAC Milan2002-04-044 - 0 4 (0-4)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
4th roundInternazionaleAEK2002-02-213 - 1 3 (2-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2001-2002
2nd group stageReal MadridSparta Prague2002-03-123 - 0 3 (2-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
2nd group stagePanathinaikosPorto2001-11-210 - 0 4 (0-4)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageLyonBarcelona2001-10-232 - 3 5 (2-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageJuventusRosenborg2001-10-171 - 0 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageAS RomaReal Madrid2001-09-111 - 2 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundLille OSCParma2001-08-220 - 1 5 (2-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
WC 2002 qualifiers - S. America
ParaguayColombia2001-11-140 - 4 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)
WC 2002 qualifiers - Europe
SloveniaRussia2001-09-012 - 1 4 (1-3)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
NetherlandsPortugal2000-10-110 - 2 1 (1-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2000 - 2001
1/4 finalsKaiserslauternPSV2001-03-081 - 0 7 (4-3)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
round of 16AEKBarcelona2001-02-150 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2000-2001
2nd group stageDeportivo La CorunaAC Milan2000-12-060 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
1st group stageHelsingborgPSG2000-11-081 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
1st group stageOlympiakosLyon2000-09-202 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2000
group stageSloveniaNorway2000-06-210 - 0 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageCzech RepublicFrance2000-06-161 - 2 4 (3-1)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 1999-2000
1/2 finalsBayern MunichReal Madrid2000-05-092 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
1st group stageSpartak MoskvaBordeaux1999-10-201 - 2 2 (2-0)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
1st group stageBoavista FCFeyenoord1999-09-291 - 1 6 (3-3)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
1st group stageLeverkusenLazio1999-09-141 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 2nd roundDynamo KyivZalgiris1999-07-282 - 0 4 (3-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 1999 - 2000
round of 16MonacoMallorca2000-03-091 - 0 0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
3rd roundBologna AGCGalatasaray1999-11-231 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2000 qualifiers
SwitzerlandItaly1999-06-090 - 0 1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
European Cup2 1998 - 1999
1/4 finalsPanioniosLazio1999-03-040 - 4 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 1998-1999
group stageGalatasarayJuventus1998-11-251 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageGalatasarayAthletic Bilbao1998-09-302 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 1998 - 1999
round of 16Real SociedadAtlético de Madrid1998-11-242 - 1 0 (0-0)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
2nd roundGrasshopperFiorentina1998-10-200 - 2 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 1997-1998
group stageLierse SKLeverkusen1997-11-260 - 2 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 1st roundKareda SiauliaiAnorthosis1997-07-301 - 1 4 (2-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 1997 - 1998
2nd roundReal ValladoidSpartak Moskva1997-11-041 - 2 4 (1-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
1st roundFenerbahce SKSteaua1997-09-301 - 2 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 2nd roundHelsingborgFerencváros1997-08-120 - 1 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
WC 1998 qualifiers - Europe
AzerbaijanFinland1997-04-021 - 2 3 (1-2)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 1996 - 1997
preliminariesAPOELB 71 Sandoy1996-07-244 - 2 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)2 (1-1)0 (0-0)