Champions League news

Wenger blasts UCL refereeing

April 12, 2013
By Kevin Palmer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has described some of the refereeing in this season's Champions League as "disastrous" and welcomed the news that goal-line technology will be introduced in the Premier League next season.

Arsene Wenger is happy to play the part of parsimonious prince of Arsenal but they have been left behind.
GettyImagesArsene Wenger has voiced disgust at some recent Champions League refereeing

Wenger, who saw the Gunners knocked out of Europe's elite competition by semi-finalists Bayern Munich, was unequivocal in his condemnation of key decisions in some recent big games.

As he reflected on Borussia Dortmund's contentious victory against Malaga on Tuesday, the Arsenal manager said: "When you look at the level of the referee that we have seen in Europe this week, it is absolutely disastrous what happened.

"The major decisions that have gone wrong in the Champions League... football cannot accept that.

"Honestly, the refereeing has been very poor in the Champions League. I don't know why. You analyse all the teams in the semi-finals, how they have gone through, there have many, many decisions that have been wrong.

"In Dortmund, when you have four players who are offside and no one sees it, how can that happen? Then another player is offside and he scores a goal and we have to stand here and defend it. It's absolutely not acceptable.

"I would like at least to see in a major decision like that, to decide who goes to the semi-finals of the Champions League, for the referee to have an opportunity to see whether a goal is valid or not.

"This is just to do with justice. The more assistance the referees get, the better."

Wenger has long campaigned for TV replays to be introduced in a bid to resolve contentious decisions, and believes the confirmation that Hawk-Eye technology will be used in the Premier League next season should signal a change in direction by UEFA.

European football's governing body remains firmly opposed to any form of technology being introduced in the Champions League, and Wenger dismissed the suggestion that the additional officials employed behind the goal in Champions League and Europa League game provided an answer.

"If [goal-line technology] works in the Premier League, and I don't think it can fail, it will put pressure on UEFA," he said. "The technology can help the officials, so we have to use it.

"Controversy is not good for football. What is good for football is the right decisions. We all accept if we lose to a better team, but it is frustrating to lose when you know it is just down to the decision of the referee.

"You can argue it [technology] slows the game down, but I don't believe it will do that if it is done in a good way. If it is to get more decisions right, we all have to fight for it."