In this post we explain the football expression ‘disputed call‘ which is used to describe a controversial decision from the referee in a match. If you have questions or comments, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Football Language: Disputed call
The football expression ‘disputed call‘ is used to describe a controversial decision in a match. The noun ‘call‘ refers to the decision taken by the referee; he or she decides that something is a foul, a free-kick or a penalty – this is the referee’s call or the officials’ call – the officials refers to the referee and the assistant referees. If a player, manager, some fans or pundits disagree with this decision then they challenge or dispute the call and so a disputed call is when players disagree with the referee. We can add an adverb to the phrase to demonstrate this disagreement, for example, the players hotly disputed the call or the penalty was a hotly disputed call – the adverb ‘hotly‘ adds more ‘power’ or controversy. There were some examples of disputed decisions in recent UEFA Nations League matches, including England having a last-minute equaliser ruled out and Denmark being awarded a penalty for handball against Wales – both of these were disputed by the English and Welsh players – they were disputed calls.
Example: ‘FIFA bans referee for life over disputed penalty call in Africa World Cup qualifier’ (Fox Sports.com, June 30th 2017).
Example: ‘The call may have been disputed but there was no indecision from Eriksen…’ (Guardian.co.uk, 9th September 2018).