Tofiq Bahramov (Azerbaijani: Tofiq Bəhramov; Russian: Тофик
Бахрамов; 29 January 1925 – 26 March 1993), in England
often incorrectly referred to as "the Russian linesman", was
a Soviet footballer and football referee from Azerbaijan.
He was notable for being the linesman who helped to award a
contentious goal for England in the
1966 FIFA World Cup Final
1966 FIFA World Cup Final against
West Germany. As a referee earlier in the tournament, he drew
attention for denying a Swiss goal in a first-round game between
Switzerland and Spain.
After his death in 1993, Azerbaijan's then national stadium was
Tofiq Bahramov Stadium
Tofiq Bahramov Stadium in his honour.
1.1 "Wembley Goal"
3 See also
5 External links
Bahramov was originally a footballer playing for Neftchi Baku, but a
serious leg injury prevented him from continuing his playing career
and he became a referee. He was elected onto the
FIFA panel of
referees in 1964. In the 1966 World Cup he officiated as a linesman
for both the opening match and the Final, and refereed a first
round match. In the 1970 World Cup he officiated at three matches
including a semi-final. In 1972, he refereed the first leg of the
UEFA Cup Final between the English clubs
Wolverhampton Wanderers and
Tottenham Hotspur. After retiring as a referee, he subsequently
served for some years as general secretary of the Football Federation
English fans wearing Bəhramov 66 T-shirts. Tofiq Bahramov's son is
standing in the middle.
In the 1966 World Cup Final, with the score at 2–2 and after 11
minutes of the first period of extra time,
Geoff Hurst of England
fired a shot on goal which bounced off the crossbar sharply downwards,
hit the ground, and then spun backwards away from the goal. There were
some moments of indecision by referee
Gottfried Dienst before he
noticed that Bahramov, who was the linesman at that end of the ground,
was signalling to him. Eventually, Dienst awarded a goal to England,
who went on to win the game 4–2.
The decision to award the third England goal is still debated. In
England, it is commonly believed that the decision was
correct, while in
Germany it is commonly said that
Bahramov made a mistake, and the goal has entered the German
vernacular, as any situation in which a ball hits the crossbar and is
reflected downwards, landing just before or behind the goal line, is
described as a "Wembley-Tor". After the match, many newspapers
referred to the "Russian linesman" who awarded the goal, as Azerbaijan
was part of the
Soviet Union at the time, and the nickname stuck to
the point where his real name was all but forgotten.
According to the Laws of the Game, for a goal to be awarded, the ball
must cross the goal line, with its full diameter behind the full width
of the line. The Germans argue that if that were the case, the ball
would likely have bounced from there into the net, not out on the
field as it did. In addition, German players claimed to have seen
chalk dust, which would indicate it was not a goal. The English
counter by saying that the back-spin put on the ball after hitting the
crossbar could just as likely have caused the ball to bounce behind
the line and then back out of the goal—as had happened in a later
match between the two countries.
Roger Hunt claimed to have seen the
ball bounce behind the line.
When Bahramov wrote his memoirs, he stated that he believed the ball
had bounced back not from the crossbar, but from the net, so the
further movement of the ball was already insignificant, and not
visible for him either. Bahramov loved refereeing and the game of
football in general, and described football matches as,
duels...full of unforeseen turns and even real miracles. And who does
not want to be a magician if even for just 90 minutes?[citation
A 1996 study by Ian Reid and Andrew Zisserman (University of Oxford)
came to the conclusion that the ball was at least 6 cm away from
being a goal. Contrary to this however, on 4 January 2016, a review of
the goal on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football concluded that the ball
did in fact cross the line.
After his death in 1993, the national stadium of
Tofiq Bahramov Stadium.
Azerbaijan national stadium in
Baku is named the Tofiq Bahramov
Stadium in his honour. It was renamed in 1993, shortly after Azeri
independence and Bahramov's death, having previously been named after
the Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.
When England were drawn in the same group as
Azerbaijan in qualifying
for the 2006
FIFA World Cup, a ceremony was held prior to the meeting
at the stadium to honor his memory, with attendees including Geoff
Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter. A statue of him was also
unveiled at the ceremony and he became the first referee to have a
stadium named after him. During the same visit, his son Bahram
Bahramov met representatives of the English fans and expressed his
pleasure that the famous "Russian linesman" of 1966 had finally
regained his true nationality. "Now that
Azerbaijan is independent
it’s very right for him to be remembered as a member of the Azeri
nation. People like
Tofiq Bahramov are only born once in a hundred
Association football portal
FIFA World Cup Final
Tofiq Bahramov Stadium
^ "(Photo of gravestone inscription): Tofiq Bəhramovun yubileyi qeyd
olunub (fotolar)" (in Azerbaijani).
Azerbaijan Football Association.
Archived from the original on 8 Sep 2015.
^ The Russian linesman Top 10 Times Referees Trumped Sport by
Baku memorial for 1966 linesman". BBC. 13 October 2004.
^ Tofiq Bahramov, the ‘Russian linesman’
^ Сын Тофика Бахрамова рассказал о
своем отце (Интервью). Azerifootball.com (in
Russian). Retrieved 16 April 2013.
^ "England vs. Uruguay 11 July 1966". Soccerway. Retrieved 7 Sep
Azerbaijan - T. Bakhramov". Soccerway. Retrieved 7 Sep 2015.
UEFA Cup". UEFA. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
^ Tofiq Bəhramovun xatirəsi əziz tutulur (in Azerbaijani)
^ Ian Reid and Andrew Zisserman: Goal-directed video metrology. In:
Proceedings of the 4th European Conference on Computer Vision, LNCS
1065, Cambridge 1996, Volume II, p. 647–658, Lecture Notes in
Computer Science, DOI 10.1007/3-540-61123-1, available online here or
^ Abidəsi olan ilk hakim (in Azerbaijani)
^ Tofiq Bəhramovun anadan olmasından 78 il keçir (in Azerbaijani)
Azerbaijan v England article by
Chris Hunt published in Football
First newspaper, 17 October 2004
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tofiq Bahramov.
Baku memorial for 1966 linesman
Baku Celebrates its Wembley Hero
Referees at the 1966
FIFA World Cup
José María Codesal
Juan Gardeazábal Garay
Joaquim dos Campos
Concetto Lo Bello