Phantom Gate

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Phantom goal (from the Greek “phantasm”, “fantasy”, which means “illusion”, “unreal appearance” or “imagination”) is a term used in sports reporting and stands for a goal that is recognized by the referee, although the ball or puck has not crossed the goal line according to the rules. The name is traced back to the most famous phantom goal in 1994 by Thomas Helmer in the Bundesliga .

ice Hockey

In the 2003 DEL season, a game between the Kölner Haien and the DEG Metro Stars ended 6-4 . In the 49th minute, Steve Palmer scored the supposed 5: 4 for Cologne. Referee Hellwig consulted the video evidence, as is customary in ice hockey for disputed decisions. He used the overhead camera and decided on goal. However, the television images later made it clear that the puck had not crossed the line. The Metro Stars protested after the game. This was rejected and the result was valid.

In the game USA against Finland at the Ice Hockey World Championship 2008, the video judge overlooked the 1: 2 subsequent goal by Ville Koistinen that the puck had entered the goal through a hole in the net from the side. Thanks to this goal, the Finns won the game 3-2 in the end. Both teams were qualified for the quarter-finals before the game.


Reinhold Wosab, 1965 (Bundesliga)

Reinhold Wosab scored the first phantom goal in the German Bundesliga on March 27, 1965 in the match between Borussia Dortmund and Karlsruher SC . His goal to make it 4-1 for Dortmund in the 74th minute was irregular, as the ball got through the side netting into the goal. The end result of this encounter on the 25th matchday was 5: 1. There was no replay.

Dieter Kobel, 1978 (Second Bundesliga South)

On October 21, 1978, the Second Bundesliga South experienced a phantom goal. In the 63rd minute of the match of the 12th matchday between Borussia Neunkirchen and the Stuttgarter Kickers (final score 4: 3) a shot by Dieter Kobel went past the goal when the score was 3: 3. The ball jumped so high on the net from behind that the impression was created that it was in goal - and the referee, with the support of his linesman, decided on goal. In view of the television pictures, the game was not rated and rescheduled; the Stuttgarter Kickers won the replay 1-0. It was the first time that a so-called factual decision by an arbitrator did not stand.

Arne Larsen Økland, 1981 (Bundesliga)

Another phantom goal in the Bundesliga came on March 7, 1981 in the game between TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Bayern Munich . When the score was 3-0 for Leverkusen, striker Arne Larsen Økland , who had managed a hat trick in the first half , hit the right net bar behind the goal. From there the ball hit the side netting in such a way that referee Udo Horeis initially recognized the goal. However, shortly before the next kick-off, Økland informed the referee that the ball was not in the goal, who then revised his decision and allowed Bayern Munich to continue the game with a goal kick. For his action, the Norwegian striker later received the fair play plaque from the world association FIFA .

Thomas Helmer, 1994 (Bundesliga)

Probably the best-known phantom goal was achieved by Thomas Helmer on April 23, 1994 on the 32nd (third from last) matchday for FC Bayern Munich against 1. FC Nürnberg in the Franconian-Bavarian Derby .

In the 26th minute of the game, Helmer pushed the ball towards the Nuremberg goal in an opaque situation in the penalty area. He missed and the ball rolled past the left post and over the goal line. According to referee Hans-Joachim Osmers , however, his linesman Jablonski signaled him a goal. Osmers recognized the goal and Bayern Munich won the game 2-1 (including the Phantom goal). In retrospect, the DFB declared the goal invalid and justified this with a rule violation by the referee. A factual decision by the referee was basically final, but in the opinion of the DFB Sports Court there was no such decision: the referee relied on the line judge's decision by eye contact. At that moment, however, he did not want to signal to the referee whether a goal was to be scored or not, but assessed a previous game situation. The referee has to make sure that the linesman is actually giving him information about the situation about which he wants information. The decisive violation of the rules is that he did not do this here. Accordingly, there is no factual decision. Then the game was rescheduled. Bayern Munich won the replay 5-0.

Jerren Nixon, 2001 (National League A)

In the classic between FC St. Gallen and FC Basel on the Espenmoos on April 22, 2001, St. Gallen's Jerren Nixon hit a cross in the 46th minute, which the Basel goalkeeper Miroslav König clearly defended in front of the line. To everyone's astonishment, the referee decided on goal at the behest of his assistant. FC Basel lost the game 2: 3 and lodged a protest against the score, which was rejected due to the factual decision of the referee.

Stefan Kießling, 2013 (Bundesliga)

There was also a phantom goal in the first division match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Bayer 04 Leverkusen on matchday 9 on October 18, 2013. When the score was 0: 1, Stefan Kießling (Leverkusen) headed the net from the outside; Nevertheless, the ball landed through a hole in the mesh of the net, which apparently had not been adequately controlled before the start of the game, within the space between the posts behind the goal line. Referee Felix Brych gave the "hit". The game ended 1: 2. Hoffenheim lodged an objection against the game evaluation, which was rejected by the sports court of the German Football Association on October 28, 2013 , as it was a factual decision by the referee that was final according to the rules. The verdict was met with mixed feedback from sports lawyers. The gate housing together with the perforated net has been in the Auto and Technology Museum in Sinsheim since March 2015 .

Gabriel Torres, 2017 (qualification for the 2018 World Cup)

On the last day of the CONCACAF qualification for the 2018 World Cup , Panama played against Costa Rica . When the score was 1-0 for Costa Rica, Panama striker Gabriel Torres undoubtedly maneuvered a corner kick next to the goal, but despite violent protests from Costa Rica the 1-1 was given. This helped Panama to qualify for the World Cup for the first time with a 2-1 victory and even to declare a national holiday .

"Wembley goal" hit

Sometimes supposed hits that are similar to the Wembley goal are referred to as a phantom goal. After a shot, the ball jumps to the crossbar, from there to the ground without crossing the line, and then away from the goal again - and the team of referees still decides on goal. The eponymous and best-known goal of this kind, the Wembley goal , was the 3-2 "goal" by Geoff Hurst in the 1966 World Cup final between the English and German national football teams at London's Wembley Stadium . The game ended with a 4-2 victory for the English and their only world title to date.

On January 17, 2010, the single-track Second Bundesliga also experienced its first phantom goal: In the 81st minute of the match on the 18th match day between MSV Duisburg and FSV Frankfurt , Duisburg attacker Christian Tiffert pushed the ball to the crossbar of the Frankfurt housing; from there he clearly landed at least a meter in front of the goal line and jumped back into the field, whereupon assistant referee Thomas Münch signaled a goal to everyone's surprise . Referee Marco Fritz relied on his assistant and recognized the hit. In this case, the DFB declared the goal to be valid and based on the factual decision of the referee. The FSV waived a protest in view of the clear result of 5-0 for Duisburg.

A phantom goal also occurred in the third quarter-final game of the 2010 African Cup of Nations between Egypt and Cameroon . Cameroon goalkeeper Idriss Carlos Kameni let Ahmed Hassan's free kick bounce off the crossbar and the ball bounced off the goal line. Referee Jerome Damon recognized goal.

Marcell Jansen scored a phantom goal in the Bundesliga match on March 6, 2011 between Hamburger SV and 1. FSV Mainz 05 after his volley shot from the crossbar had jumped off clearly in front of the goal line. Referee Babak Rafati decided on goal on the advice of assistant referee Christoph Bornhorst.


After the match of the Second Bundesliga North between SV Post Schwerin and ASV Hamm , the exact final result was unclear. The press and spectators had seen a 26:23 victory for Schwerin. The jury noted a 26:24 on the score sheet. The alleged hit was credited to guest player David Kreckler.

More serious, however, was a mistake made by the referees Hagen Becker and Axel Hack (Halberstadt) on March 25, 2006 in the first division handball match between SG Kronau / Östringen and HSG Düsseldorf in the Mannheim SAP Arena . At the score of 10: 8 (24th minute), Frank Berblinger from Düsseldorf shortened to 10: 9, but the scoreboard showed 11: 8 for the SG. After consulting the timekeepers, the referees corrected the display of the score, but to everyone's amazement it was now 11: 9. The referees had mistakenly awarded Kronau / Östringen a hit. Hall spokesman Jürgen Essig tried in vain to draw the referees' attention to their faux pas; instead he even received a yellow card. In the end, SG Kronau / Östringen won 26:25 thanks to the “Phantom goal”. Düsseldorf appealed to the Federal Sports Court. The court started a replay, which SG Kronau / Östringen won on May 17, 2006 in Eppelheim with 34:24.


At the Men's Hockey Champions Trophy in Chennai in 2005, the Australians' 1-0 win against Germany (final score 4-1) caused great confusion. The ball, shot by Jamie Dwyer, rolled through a hole in the goal net into the goal. The referee gave the hit.

further reading

  • Schäfer-Hock, Christian: Stefan Kiessling's Phantom Gate and the Increase in Social Surveillance. Proposal for an intensification spiral based on a multi-level model of the public. In: Grimmer, Christoph (ed.): The use of social media in sport. Design, marketing, monetization ( ISBN 978-3-658-13587-4 ), Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2017, pp. 45–60. doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-658-13588-1_3

Individual evidence

  1. ^ O. N .: Match report Borussia Dortmund - Karlsruher SC. KSC kept the game open for a long time. In: , o. J., accessed on November 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Stephan Reich: Dieter Kobel on the first phantom gate. "Tumultuous scenes". In: , October 25, 2013, accessed on November 6, 2013.
  3. O. N .: 1981: Ökland points out the phantom goal to the referee: Already in 1981 there was a phantom goal in the Bundesliga with Leverkusen participation. ( Memento from October 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In: , October 19, 2013, accessed on October 19, 2013.
  4. Tobias Fuchs: For the resubmission. ( Memento from October 31, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In: , October 20, 2013, accessed on October 21, 2013.
  5. U. Muras: When sports comrade Jablonski saw what nobody saw. In: Die Welt , April 23, 2004, accessed November 6, 2013.
  6. Phantom goal in St. Gallen - FC Basel lost in the 96th minute In: , April 22, 2001, accessed on December 17, 2014.
  7. Phantom Gate of St. Gallen: It stays that way ..! In: , May 1, 2001, accessed on December 17, 2014.
  8. ^ O. N .: Hoffenheim announces a protest after the Phantom Gate. In: Rhein-Zeitung , October 18, 2013, accessed on November 6, 2013.
  9. O. N .: Kießling's Phantom Goal: Hoffenheim doesn't get a replay. In: Spiegel Online , October 28, 2013, accessed November 6, 2013.
  10. ^ O. N .: Phantomtor judgment: "DFB sports court missed an important opportunity". In: Spiegel Online , October 28, 2013, accessed November 6, 2013.
  11. TSG- “Phantom Gate” comes to the museum . Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, March 31, 2015, accessed on the same day.
  12. Panama: Curious unsportsmanlike behavior becomes a hit ,
  13. Tiffert and the Fair Play Question , article in the Rheinische Post from January 18, 2010
  14. O. N .: Jansen's Phantom Gate. ( Memento of March 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: Hamburger Morgenpost , March 6, 2011, accessed on November 6, 2013.
  15. O. N .: Schürrle the match winner against HSV. In: , March 6, 2011, accessed on November 6, 2013.