Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Less of the wrestling matches please, referees

Forgive me for reflecting on events that are now a 'week old' but I'm still angry at the scandalously poor refereeing display in the Celtic/Juventus game.

Among the many things that infuriate me about current football is the ignoring of 'wrestling' at free kicks and corner kicks. Surely it can't be that only 'we' see it?

FIFA's law 12 is quite specific: referees are told to make an 'early intervention' and deal firmly with holding: he is told to warn a player before the restart and, if he cautions a player and the offence continues, referees are told to caution the offender again (send him off) and give a penalty.

So which part of the law does the incompetent Undiano Mallenco not understand? Watching Juventus continually 'cross the line' was akin to seeing Stoke times ten! And I have no affiliation to Celtic. It's simple: the Spanish officials – what are those 'tailor dummies' on the goal line for? – cheated them.

If Michel Platini (right) doesn't mark Mallenco down he should be ashamed of himself.

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