7 05 2009

This weeks Champions League semi-finals, traditionally two of the most engaging matches in the season, have been overshadowed by two very poor referees performances which ruined the ties.

On Tuesday Manchester United overcame Arsenal with consumate ease at the Emirates stadium. Yet it could have been so different had the referee, Roberto Rosetti, not awarded a series of free-kicks for very small offences. Indeed, the cheap free-kick that Ronaldo won to score Manchester United’s second goal on the night, should not have been given. Through the course of the night he was poor and was not consistant in anything other than his own incompetence.

As if Tuesday wasn’t bad enough, Wednesday was worse. The scenes at the end of the Chelsea-Barcelona tie were disgraceful, yes, but understandable too. Now I dislike Chelsea and the way the club has destroyed football. That said, they had every right to be aggrieved as the referee, Norweigan Tom Ovrebo, missed at least three clear penalty claims for Chelsea.

The consequence of the lack of decisions have been depicted on the back pages of every newspaper across the country. The words of Didier Drogba have reverberated around sporting websites and sporting commentators. The anger of Michael Ballack, the frustration of Guus Hiddink and the disappointment of Frank Lampard have all been recited by the press. There is one person we haven’t heard from though. That of Ovrebo. Apparently he has been told by UEFA not to make any press comments, something which is sure to fan the flames more than it dampens them.

I have written about this before, but referees need to be made accountable. At the moment the thing that frustrates the fans and players more than the decisions made is that the referees do not seem to be accountable for the decisions? Any punishment that comes the referee’s way is negligable and out of the view of the public. Referee’s get away with poor performances as they do not have to publically account for their decisions. Yes, UEFA will probably stop him refereeing any further matches in the Champions League, but that is too little to cover the loss of the match on which so much rested.

Drogba himself will undoubtedly be punished for his words, and it is likely that Ballack will also face UEFA scrutiny. The players are not allowed to speak about the referees without fear of punishment, and this is wrong. If other players can be criticised by opposing players and managers, why can referees not? It causes so many problems, and many could be aided should referees simply be made accountable for their decisions. If they were to give interviews after the match as managers do, perhaps many of their decisions can be explained in public, rather than the private report they submit to the respective authority.




2 responses

8 05 2009
10 05 2009

Personally I think the away goals rule is a much better way of deciding a match than penalties ever will be. Yes penalties have the drama, and are great for a neutral, but away goals has added an extra dynamic to European football. There is a whole extra level of tactics and things to consider.
I will admit that the away goals rule isn’t maybe as great in a 1-1 draw, but in matches that finish 3-3, 4-4 etc I think it is a decent enough way of settling the tie.

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