Last week was the 11 year anniversary of Chelsea vs Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final second leg.
The tie will be remembered for Andres Iniesta’s injury-time equaliser to send Barca through to the final and, of course, Didier Drogba’s incredible rant at full-time.
Drogba claimed that the refereeing display from Tom Henning Ovrebo was a “f**king disgrace” after the Norwegian turned down all of Chelsea’s numerous penalty appeal.
Chelsea boss Guys Hiddink described it as “the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen.”
Even to this day, Chelsea supporters are angry. Some even go as far as to claim that there was an element of match-fixing involved that night.
And it features in a popular YouTube video that looks at controversial incidents in possible ‘match-fixed’ games in football history.
YouTuber Vanemas also looks at Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals back in 2017.
Real won 4-2 after extra-time thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick but the failure to send Casemiro off and Arturo Vidal’s very controversial red card made headlines.
The Hungarian officials also allowed two of Ronaldo’s goals to stand when they appeared to be clearly offside.
Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti wasn’t happy at full-time saying: “In a quarter-final you have to put a better referee, or it is the moment to introduce video refereeing, which is what Uefa are trying, because there are too many errors.”
The third match the video looks at is the controversial 2002 World Cup clash between hosts South Korea and Italy.
South Korea won the last-16 clash in controversial circumstances with Ecuadorian referee, Byron Moreno, having a shocker.
He gave South Korea a soft penalty in the first half, while allowing them to kick Italy off the pitch. Damiano Tommasi thought he’d scored a golden goal in extra-time before that was ruled out for offside, while Francesco Totti was shown a yellow card for a ‘dive’ in South Korea’s penalty area.
Incidentally, the referee was later suspended for 20 matches for “timekeeping errors” in Ecuador before he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison with heroin smuggling charges.
South Korea’s quarter-final against Spain is the final match analysed in the video – and it’s arguably even worse!
Spain had two legitimate goals ruled out, while an incorrect offside flag halted them on numerous occasions. Korea went on to win the match on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Ivan Helguera, who attempted to confront the Egyptian referee Gamal Ghandour and his Ugandan and Trinidadian assistants before being hauled away, said: “Everyone saw two perfectly good goals. If Spain didn’t win it’s because they didn’t let us win.”
Take a look at the video that analyses those four matches:
Of course, we’re not saying those games were match-fixed in any way and nothing has emerged in the following years that suggests they were.
As Vanemas says at the start of his video: “The purpose of this video is to educate about some controversial matches. You can judge yourself if there are any signs of ‘match-fixing.’”
Fans of Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Italy and Spain will no doubt be screaming ‘FIX’ but, ultimately, it was just probably a case of some really terrible officiating.
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