Friday, April 5th, 2013
The most surprising thing about Barcelona’s official complaint to UEFA on referee Wolfgang Stark’s performance against PSG is that it doesn’t centre on the most obvious decision.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised for the Parisians from a blatant offside position, but this isn’t the biggest of Barça’s complaints.
Rather, the Catalans are most incensed with Stark’s insistence that both Jordi Alba and Javier Mascherano had to leave the field of play for the subsequent play having received medical attention.
This wasn’t the incident which led to Mascherano’s serious injury, that happened in the second half; this was a clash of heads between Alba and Mascherano early in the first half at 0-0.
And, funny as this vid is, they actually reveal that it was Ibra who reminded the ref – incorrectly – of the misunderstood rule.
The rules state that when two players from the same team are injured at the same time, there is no obligation to remove them from play to them come back on in the next phase.
As it happened, Stark kowtowed to Zlatan’s whim with a docile nod as if to say, ‘Yes Sir, Mr Ibrahimovic!’ – and ordered Alba and Mascherano off for the PSG corner which was due to be taken.
Just imagine if PSG had scored from the corner with Barça down to 9 men….