A statement from FIFA's Referees Committee
Thursday evening's 2-2 draw between Croatia and Australia in Stuttgart saw referee Graham Poll make an error. In the 61st minute of the game the English official showed the Croatian No. 3 Josip Simunic his first yellow card, followed by a second caution with just one minute of the game remaining. Instead of ordering the defender off for a second yellow card, however, the referee allowed him to stay on the pitch thinking he had only booked him once. Immediately after blowing the final whistle, Poll gave Simunic another yellow card before finally showing him the red.
The experienced official is disappointed at having committed the error, the first such mistake in his 26-year career.
The FIFA Referees Committee also recognised the oversight and the fact that none of the match officials at the stadium picked up on the error.
In explaining his actions to the Committee, Poll said he incorrectly noted down the name of the Australia No. 3 Craig Moore when booking Simunic for the second time and failed to realise his error.
In confirming the official's mistake, Angel Maria Villar Llona, the President of the FIFA Referees Committee, added that Poll was an exceptional referee and a great sportsman, who would be able to overcome the situation thanks to his strong personality and love of the game.