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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Thursday's Connector: Graham Poll

July 2nd, 2010
06:05 PM ET

He’s arguably one of Britain’s best known referees and also one of the most divisive.

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caption="Graham Poll is your Connector of the Day."]

Graham Poll first took up the whistle in 1980 after failing to make the grade playing the beautiful game itself.

In a little over a decade he has worked his way up from park level to premiership league, but Poll finally reached his career pinnacle when he was chosen as the only England referee at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Unfortunately for Poll, that tournament would be his downfall.

In the play-off between Croatia and Australia, Poll cautioned a player three times before sending him off –the maximum limit is two.

FIFA forced his resignation on the issue.

It wasn’t the first time Poll had put a foot out of line. In the 2002 World Cup he wrongly ruled a goal by Italy offside.

Other controversial calls have copped Poll flak from plenty of players, fans and football managers including Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger.

Since retiring in 2007, Poll hasn't been shy from speaking up about ways to improve the sport.

As a columnist for the "Daily Mail" and a sports commentator, Poll’s called for increasing the number of referees on the pitch and providing them more protection.

He certainly knows what he’s talking about.

The man of the match, Graham Poll is your connector of the day.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Graham Poll and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Graham Poll on the following questions:
    – What needs to be done to Stop Soccer Foot Injuries during Football matches?
    – What is your opinion on the referees decisions during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa?
    – Who will win the South Africa World Cup?
    – What can we expect from you in 2010?
    – How are you inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting Graham Poll’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    July 2, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  2. Keira

    Here's my question:

    How do you compare FIFA as a governing body with others such as the NFL, NBA, FIBA, etc? Do you think FIFA is up to par with those organizations? Why or why not?



    July 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  3. Toklen

    I like watching the English national team, but not happy with their performance as a fan. Do you think the English football team will ever win an international tournament with this squad?

    Do you think having March officials at the back of each goal post will help? Like the goal scored by Lampard but was disallowed

    July 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  4. Emmanuel Ajiboye from nigeria

    What does it take to be a successful referee in the uk?

    July 8, 2010 at 6:12 am | Reply
  5. John

    Im' from Brazil and my question is – do you think that electronic replays and technology should be introduced in football games?

    July 8, 2010 at 11:56 am | Reply
  6. Jennifer

    Do you ever think about that moment during the 2006 world cup when you made that error with the yellow cards? Does it haunt you?

    July 8, 2010 at 11:57 am | Reply
  7. Nonsense

    How do you think the refereeing has been at this year's world cup? There have already been a few big errors.

    July 8, 2010 at 11:57 am | Reply
  8. Alozie Ndubuka

    Shouldn't FIFA modernise the rules of soccer by allowing goals blocked by the hand of a player(not the keeper) and punishing such a player? A lack of this law, saw Ghana unfairly knocked out from the World cup.

    July 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Reply

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