Italian referee Paolo Tagliavento has revealed that he wanted to award Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari’s infamous ‘ghost goal’ for AC Milan against Juventus in 2012 but he “needed the assistant’s ok…”
Back in February 2012, when the match occurred, the two Italian sides were competing for the Scudetto, and met at the San Siro for what was to be a crucial match in the title race.
With the scores level at 1-1, Philippe Mexes headed a corner towards goal, drawing a sensational save from Gianluigi Buffon, only for Sulley Muntari to turn in the rebound.
Buffon caught the ball, but only after it had crossed the line, dragging it back out of the goal. However, despite it being a goal, it wasn’t awarded by the officials
Quoting the referee’s comments to Gazzetta dello Sport, Football Italia have now described how referee Tagliavento believed the ball had indeed crossed the line at the time, and wanted to award the second Milan goal.
“It seems like a century ago, because these days that situation would have been solved in a second,” Tagliavento told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I had a feeling that the ball had completely crossed the line, if you look at the images you can see I’ve already got my arm up to point to the centre circle.
“But I needed the assistant’s ok, he was in the best position while I was on the edge of the box. He was focused on offside and missed the goal, he told me Buffon had parried it on the line. It’s a shame.”
The match finished 1-1 and Juventus went on to win the Scudetto that year, kickstarting their seven-year domination on the Serie A trophy – an accolade they’re yet to relinquish their grip on since that 2011/12 season.