The first leg of the Champions League quarter-final between PSG and Barcelona was a game filled with top class players and exciting, quality football.
The ability in the Barcelona side is unprecedented and the style of football that they play is almost revolutionary, however the attitudes that many of the players seem to hold towards match officials leaves a lot to be desired.
Last night’s referee, Wolfgang Stark, was the subject of a storm of protest from several Barcelona players after he failed to stop the game after an accidental clash between Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba during a corner. However the referee had very little time to stop play, and in fact had no obligation too as it turned out that neither player had suffered a head injury.
Dani Alves also displayed an unsavoury reaction to a decision after the linesman gave a throw-in against him in PSG’s favour, and was consequently booked.
Although the officials by no means had their best game; PSG’s first goal was clearly offside, Barcelona should show more respect to officials, and particularly because of the influence they have on football as a whole.
It seems that descent towards officials emanates from the top at Barcelona. The assistant coach Jordi Roura tried to portray to reporters that Barcelona were the victims of several bad decisions in this season’s Champions League.
“I hear that Ibrahimovic was clearly offside when he scored, by a few feet too” Roura told reporters.
“I remember what happened to us in our last match [against AC Milan in the round of 16]. One goal came from a blatant handball, but the referee did not see it. And today, there were several refereeing decisions that were questionable".
Many would argue that Barcelona do not need to try and gain any advantage from referees either through players’ actions on the pitch or words of coaches off of it. Given that Barcelona are a club who boast of the manner in which their style of football has been built and nurtured through years of hard work, surely then they can incorporate a more suitable attitude towards referees into their game.
Although Barcelona are by no means the only club that needs to show more respect to officials, due to their status as potentially the biggest club in the world, they must lead the way and rectify their actions, otherwise young fans and players may consider such disrespect as acceptable.
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