The Champions League quarter-final second leg between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid was one of the best matches of the season so far. However, it was fraught with questionable refereeing decisions.
Recently the referee in question, Italian Nicola Rizzoli, admitted he made a wrong decision during a crucial moment in the game. It was in the dying minutes of the match, when Atletico midfielder Gabi committed a handball inside the penalty area. But the referee gave a free kick just outside the area because his feet were outside the box.
“Unfortunately the defender’s feet were outside the area and I was tricked,” Rizzoli said, according to barcablaugranes.com.
“I was doing good work until the 93rd minute.”
Rizzoli suggested that use of technology, like video replays, would help curb such errors.
“It’s a question of seconds,” he added.
“With the help of technology we could arrive at a more precise verdict.”
FIFA announced last month that video technology would be implemented during football matches from as soon as the 2017-18 season. New FIFA president Gianni Infantino is very supportive of the idea and hopes that the historic decision will help referees like Rizzoli avoid making errors that have massive impacts on the game.
Rizzoli wasn’t doing good work till the 93rd minute
While the referee may claim he was error free till the 93rd minute, it was clearly not the case. A clear penalty shout by Atletico midfielder Yannick Carrasco was denied in the first half. Though that first error was a touch and go decision, the second one was not.
In the 87th minute, Barca’s Andres Iniesta stopped a goal scoring opportunity by intentionally using his hand. Though a penalty was awarded, which was subsequently converted by Antoine Griezmann, Iniesta was not even shown a card. The transgression definitely warranted a red card, and it became even more relevant because the decision that didn’t go Barca’s way in the 93rd minute also involved Iniesta.
The implementation of video technology will go a long way in ensuring that such errors do not happen, and will definitely make sure they do not happen thrice in one match.