Worst Excuses Used After Losing a Football Match

If you love football, you always want your team to win against all the odds. Well, this doesn’t always happen and while many managers, players, and fans accept defeat as part of the game, others have to find an excuse. And while some excuses make some sense, others are out of this world.

From the pitch conditions, atmospheric conditions, and the ball to sex, there are some bizarre excuses for losing a football match. We laugh at these excuses, but these could be the reason the team you bet on ends up not winning.

So which excuses rank as the worst?  Here’s a recount of some from across the globe.


Yes, you read that right, ghosts have been blamed for a football match loss. In 1996, Blackpool blamed its awful performance against Bradford City on the ghost of Lord Nelson. How? Well, Blackpool’s boardroom was built of wood paneling from Lord Nelson’s ship the Foudroyant.

The Stadium Manager, John Turner, claimed the use of a ship’s wood brings bad luck hence the loss by Blackpool. A ghost causing the loss in a match? That’s truly bizarre.

Attempted Murder

Alex Ferguson was never one to take a loss graciously. When Manchester United drew 1-1 with Swansea in 2012, Ferguson called on the Football Association to ban Ashley Williams for a long time for kicking a ball to van Persie’s head.

It’s understandable that the manager was frustrated but wait, footballers use their heads to pass and score all the time. What was so special about this one time?

Cheerleaders Carry the Blame

When Crystal Palace was fighting its way up to the coveted premier league in 2011, there was a lot of tension and finger-pointing. One fan pointed at the cheerleader, the Crystals, saying the team lost focus when players started eyeing the ladies.

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Icy Balls

You have never heard this one and you might never hear it again. Yes, Sander Westerveld, the Liverpool goalkeeper, tried laying blame for his fowler on ice on the ball when playing against Middlesbrough.

The player had been to The Riverside before and knew the conditions on a December night. But in football, an excuse is part of the beautiful game.


David James was a great goalkeeper but a poor one at excuses. A case in point is when he blundered three times against Newcastle and blamed it on his PlayStation.

The problem is, he claimed he had been playing Tekken II and Tomb Raider for hours on end but were these games even on the original PS?

Ball Boys

Ball boys get a lot of flak and praise in equal measure. However, it was Jose Mourinho who brought a lot of attention to these otherwise overlooked cogs of the game. He blamed the lack of ball boys for the loss to Barcelona when he coached arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Bouncy Balls

A football bounces and that’s why you hit it and have fun. Now, you would not imagine a player would have a problem with a ball bouncing, but in the world of football, anything goes.

In the 1998 FA Cup, Kenny Dalglish blamed bouncy balls when his Newcastle side was held to a draw by non-league Stevenage Borough.

Well, such claims have been made before especially over the 2010 World Cup ball christened Jabulani for the tournament in South Africa. Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas even compared the Jabulani to a beach ball.

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The Pitch

The pitch is one of the most common excuses when teams lose football matches. The most notable of such excuses include England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 when they played against Croatia at home.

What’s weird about the excuse was that Croatia played on the same turf and outclassed the home team 3-2 to bundle them out of the Euro.

Blame it on Card Games

The Netherlands had a poor start to their Euro 2000 campaign. Frank Rijkaard, the manager then claimed his players were more focused on cards hence the poor performance. Trust football coaches to have an excuse for everything.

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Poor Vision

As a football manager, you should always have your eyes on the field, but it’s weird how some claim not to have seen fouls only when it favors their teams. Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, had a reputation for claiming he didn’t see such fouls every time his players were in the wrong.

Other Weird Football Excuses

Of course, other football excuses will always require a second take. For instance, noisy frogs were blamed by Ukraine for their 4-0 thrashing by Spain in the 2006 World Cup.

A Liverpool player also blamed their loss to Arsenal in the 1989 English Champions on the day being a Friday, not Saturday.

Other bizarre excuses include the removal of the stadiums Michael Jackson statue (Fulham), flashy kit (Manchester United), the crowd making too much noise (Sutton United), the World Cup (Newcastle manager Alan Pardew), genes (Scotland boss Gordon Strachan) and a gypsy curse at St. Andrews.

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