What every football fan already knows, has finally been confirmed: Ajax has been robbed in the Champions League.
The vast majority of referees present at the UEFA referee winter meeting, including referee Roberto Rosetti, agreed that referee blunders had cost Ajax victory against Chelsea (4-4), and thus continuation in the multi-million-dollar ball.
Erik ten Hag’s team ended the match with nine men. Italian referee, Gianluca Rocchi, should have stopped the game after the second yellow card for Daley Blind, according to the rules. This was the outcome of the discussion. Had the game been stopped, Ajax would have been spared a penalty and the red card for Joël Veltman with a 2-4 score. The VAR should have reversed those two decisions according to the arbitrators.
During the meeting on the Spanish island of Mallorca, to which dozens of international referees were invited, it was acknowledged that Gianluca Rocchi’s arbitral blunders caused Amsterdam to end up with a tie on 5 November 2019, during Chelsea vs Ajax (4-4, after a 1-4 score at half time). A victory in London would have meant that Erik ten Hag’s team could have continued in the Champions League.
Rocchi got Dudelange vs APOEL Nicosia in the Europa League and the game between Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur, with nothing at stake. He is enjoying his referee’s retirement. That “Stamford Bridge’s shame” was revealed by Dutch newspaper Telegraaf, was obviously not UEFA’s intention.
It was a meeting behind closed doors on Monday 27, Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 January 2020, at the Melia Palma Bay resort, which is a four-star hotel, 350 metres from Ca’n Pere Antoni beach. But the conclusions when discussing the images of the Chelsea vs Ajax match, were that referee Rocchi had cost the Amsterdam players the victory and – as it turned out later in the month – a place in the eighth final of the Champions League.
150 VAR moments under scrutiny
Chelsea vs Ajax wasn’t the only Champions League game that was under scrutiny. A total of 150 clips with ‘incidents’ and ‘questionable (VAR) moments’ were discussed.
Had Rocchi adhered to the rule book, Joël Veltman would have been spared a red card anyway. The defender’s hand had an unlucky run-in with the ball and was stunned to see how he got a penalty and received a second yellow card. This was also an incorrect decision, according to almost all Rocchi’s colleagues. The VAR should have intervened, according to Rosetti and most of the others present. The penalty and red card for Veltman should have been reversed.
No UEFA response
UEFA specifically refused to comment on the arbitration regarding Chelsea vs Ajax and the opinion of referee Rosetti and most of UEFA’s top referees present at the winter meeting was that the Italian Rocchi had seriously disadvantaged Ajax. The European Football Association responded with an email stating that “hundreds of video clips of incidents and situations from recent matches have been reviewed and discussed with all participants, as is customary with any referee training”.
Read the full story at Football Betting Online website.
The sentence structure was too complex to be easily understood. I have simplified. I would expect your readers to know what UEFA is, so no need to explain it in full.
You’re over-explaining for your audience. The tone of this article appears to be speaking to an audience already knowledgeable about football, so explaining that the second yellow card is thus a red card is not necessary. Keep the sentence simple.
Who was stunned to see this? It wasn’t his hand that was stunned, as the sentence suggests! Was it Veltman, or the group of referees? This sentence is ambiguous.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of FBO, on Thursday 6 February, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/