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Soccer Ref Gottfried Dienst Dies

June 5, 1998

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) _ Soccer referee Gottfried Dienst, who ruled in favor of England’s controversial third goal in the 1966 World Cup victory over Germany, has died. He was 78.

Dienst died Monday in Basel, Switzerland said a family announcement in the Baseler Zeitung. He was buried Friday.

The term ``Wembley goal″ is still used in soccer to describe a ball that hits the underside of the crossbar and ricochets down to the goal line.

When Geoff Hurst’s ball bounced back into play in the 11th minute of overtime, English players celebrated but the Germans ran to Soviet linesman Tofik Bakhramov to protest. Dienst backed the linesman and awarded the goal which put England ahead 3-2. Hurst went on to score again, gaining the only World Cup final hat trick and giving England a 4-2 win.

Bakhramov died in Azerbaijan in 1993.

Television replays and photographs strongly suggested the ball failed to completely cross the goal line.

``We can now say that it probably was not a goal,″ British soccer chronicler Philip Evans wrote in 1990. ``But to establish that fact, it took a lot of people many hours of very hard work in cinema laboratories all over the world.″

Dienst told an interviewer in 1989 that strangers still asked him almost daily about the decision.

``I gladly respond,″ he said. ``I still don’t know if the shot ... was in or not.

``I have to say that I was standing in a poor position for that shot, exactly head-on instead of diagonal to the goal. I wouldn’t have allowed the goal if linesman Bakhramov hadn’t pointed to the middle with his flag.″

Dienst is survived by two daughters.

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