Top 10 Football Fair Play FAILs (With Videos)

Chris Wright

11th, March 2014


By Chris Wright

Arsenal v Shef Wed/Overmars

Here be Pies’ top 10 footballing fair play failures; proving that, for every Aaron Hunt (who, let’s face it, still attempted to con the referee in the first place before coming clean) there is an equal and opposite reaction…

10. FC Dacia Chisinau v FC Milsami Orhei, 2013

With Dacia Chisinau’s striker having been felled in the box by a sudden onset of embarrassment following a truly naff penalty claim, play is eventually halted when one of his team-mates clears the ball into touch.

Feeling (quite rightly, as it happens) that the striker was merely play-acting, one rebellious Milsami midfielder collects the ball upon the restart, momentarily feigns to return possession before embarking on a streaking run up the pitch toward his opponents’ goal – only to be felled by an indignant Chisinau defender before hell breaks loose…

9. Piero Alva, Vallejo vs Union Comercio, 2013

With Comercio goalkeeper Juan Flores collecting a shot and injuring himself in the process, Vallejo forward Piero Alva does the sporting thing and charges in to poke the loose ball into the vacant net while Flores lays wounded on the turf…

8. Leroy Fer, Norwich City vs Cardiff, 2013

With time running out and the score deadlocked at 0-0, Cardiff ‘keeper David Marshall tosses the ball out of touch so Norwich midfielder Alex Tettey can receive treatment.

Norwich then restart play via a throw-in only for Leroy Fer to defy his righteous-sounding surname and stick the ball straight past Marshall and into the unguarded net…


A small scrap (scraplet?) then broke out on the pitch before the referee Mike Jones disallowed Fer’s dubious goal on the slightly iffy grounds that he had not signalled for the throw-in to be taken in the first place.

People then tried to give Fer the benefit of the doubt, claiming that he merely mis-hit his back-pass to Marshall, only for the Dutch midfielder to say after the final whistle: ”I meant to score. I was trying to win the game.”

7. Mario Noto, Havant & Waterlooville vs Boreham Wood, 2011

Action from the old Blue Square South now, in which Boreham Wood’s Mario Noto does his very best to return the ball to the Havant ‘keeper after defender Sam Pearce had received a spot of emergency on-pitch treatment following a clash in the area – only to smash his return pass in from the half-way line with a fine finish…

If you listen to the audio carefully, you can hear a Havant fan yell: “Well done, dickhead,” which, all in all, sums it up nicely.

6. Erik Mjelde, Brann vs Lillestrøm, 2012

With both teams struggling for points at the very bottom of the Tippeligaen at the time, Brann found themselves 3-2 shortly after half-time when an injured Lillestrom player hit the deck in search of treatment.

The home side then slung the ball out, though it was at this point that the fair play protocol went down the toilet as Mjelde attempted to reciprocate the sportsmanlike etiquette but instead launched an enormous 60-yard backpass to the Brann ‘keeper Stefan Magnusson which bounced high over his stranded head and into the back of the net…

5. Xisco, Dinamo Tbilisi vs FC Sioni, 2014

Occurring just a few weeks back in the Georgian Premier League, Dinamo Tbilisi forward Xisco tries his very bestest to observe the unwritten rules of fair play by returning the ball back to FC Sioni keeper Mirza Merlani after a stoppage in play, only to inadvertently score a 45-yard screamer by mistake…

Tbilisi then allowed visitors Sioni to walk in a goal to level up the scores before the away side went and pipped it in the 85th minute to win the game 1-2.

4. Hulk, Porto vs Olhanense, 2012

Portugal Soccer

In his final game for Porto before leaving for the bright lights of Zenit St Petersburg, Hulk signs off with a wonderful fair play schism – failing to wait for an Olhanense player to join him in order to contest a drop-ball and simply pinching possession before running through on goal.

Sadly the video isn’t embeddable but it can be viewed here.

3. Luiz Adriano, Nordsjaelland vs Shakhtar Donetsk, 2012

With play having been restarted with an uncontested drop-ball after the referee had blown up for an off-the-ball incident, Shakhtar’s Willian (now of Chelsea) observed a time-honoured ‘fair play’ gesture by simply humping the ball back over the top and through to the Nordsjaelland keeper in order to get things under-way again – only for his team-mate, Luiz Adriano, to go and ruin it by acting like a complete and utter jackass…

After the game, Adriano confessed that he did what he did as he merely “had a natural instinct to score”.

It’s a wonder none of the Nordsjaelland defenders didn’t suddenly have a “natural instinct”to punch the little sod in the face.

2. Nwankwo Kanu and Marc Overmars, Arsenal vs Sheffield United, 1999

In a controversial incident that eventually saw the entire FA Cup fifth round tie being replayed from scratch, Arsenal débutante Nwankwo Kanu introduces himself to English football by unwittingly (at least that was his excuse) failing to cotton on to the fact that he should’ve been returning the ball to the Blades following a injury-related throw-in and, instead, weaving his way down the touchline to set up Overmars (who could have easily missed the chance on purpose, we might add!) for a sitter…

To Arsenal’s credit, the club offered to replay the game at Highbury, which the Gunners went on to win 2-1 both fairly and squarely.

1. Jan Vertonghen, Ajax vs SC Cambuur, 2006

In which a 19-year-old Verthonghen, back in his Ajax days, attempts to do the decent thing and play a sporting ball back to the Cambuur ‘keeper from the touchline following a stoppage in play – only to accidentally hoof an absolutely perfect looping shot into the top corner from over 50 yards away…

What. A. Hit!

Any more for any more, Pies fans? Let us know…

Posted in FAIL, Featured, Newsnow, Top 10s & lists, Videos

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  1. Zed says:

    @Alex shhh. They’re hoping nobody’s noticed :P

  2. DoodlePoodle says:

    u suck at counting chris

  3. Jarren says:

    Now I feel a bit sick.

  4. Jarren says:

    @Alex: #4 is so embarrassing that it has been erased from time itself.

  5. Howard Moon says:

    What about Robbie Fowler?

    Dives for a penalty, pleads to the referee not to give it but when it’s given, he proceeds to smash the penalty in (on second go) and celebrates like a normal goal.

    And yet people still laud it for being a ‘fair play’ moment.

  6. Charlie says:

    There was a game in Korea I think in the 90s where a side,after it had scored an “unfair” goal,let the opposition walk through only to be denied by a series of stunning saves by the Russian keeper who,due to language difficulties,didn’t understand he was meant to let it I,
    Please find!!

  7. ERG1008 says:

    @Howard Moon. No he didn’t McAteer scored. Some say Fowler missed on purpose.

  8. Geraldo says:

    ERG1008 – balderdash and piffle. If Fowler intended to miss on purpose he could have aimed for the corner flag, so the “some” doesn’t include me. And anyway I’ve always thought they were half-hearted faux-pleas to the ref by Fowler, after he knew that the penalty had definitely been awarded.

  9. Jan V. says:

    Vertonghen scored for the reserve team of Ajax versus the first team of Cambuur during a cup match.

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