Revealed: “The Busacca Moment” when referees move to fix the match

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Walter Broeckx

So here we are. Alive and kicking. The ones that had been burying us in the Europa League and I think about 120% of the media has been doing this in the last couple of days can change their story line for a couple of days. Will they say they were wrong? Of course not. They will pretend that they never even hinted at the possibility of Arsenal not reaching the group stages of the Champions League.

But I didn’t wanted to write about the media. No I have seen a rather strange event in our last game. When checking and analyzing the ref review report I got a moment where I suddenly had a bright light in my head saying: have a close look at this. And when checking a few things I found a rather strange coincidence. How strange? Well I leave it for you to calculate the possibility of anything happening like that in a very similar way.

Let us go back to Camp Nou (sorry but you need to). Minute 52. Arsenal take a corner and Barcelona head it in their own goal. Arsenal is qualified for the next round at that moment. Barcelona is out.

Up steps the poor man in the middle walking around with his guide dog for the blind. He must do something to change the game and to prevent Arsenal yet again turning the game around against Barcelona like they did a few weeks before. Why don’t we send off their best striker? And so just 3 minutes later, in minute 55 to be precise Van Persie is shown his second yellow card. From then on it is only a matter of time before Barcelona win the game and scores two more goals. One on penalty if you remember.

The fall out from the game is a ban for Van Persie and Nasri because he has said some harsh but true things I presume. And also a ban for Wenger for saying the truth.

Meanwhile much has changed in football land. Ref Busacca is now no longer ref but he is responsible for the refs in Europe. What Mike Riley is for the Premier League, Busacca is not the same but for Uefa. A nice promotion one could think.

The Arsenal crumbles in the PL in the closing stages and so we have to play qualifiers to get in the CL. And we are a bit unlucky as we draw the toughest opponent we could get with Italian side Udinese.  First leg we have ref Blom. And he does rather a good game. A bit like the ref did when we played Barcelona in our first  leg at home last season. He gave more calls to Udinese but not that there was a big difference in the let us say wrong calls or important calls.

And then we go to the second leg. We go a goal down short before half time. As we did at Barcelona.

And then we step up in the second half. Arsenal plays some very good stuff from the start of the second half and the inevitable happens as in the 55th minute we score the equaliser. Arsenal has qualified. Like last season against Barcelona. Udinese has to score two goals. Just like Barcelona had to score 2 goals.

And exactly 3 minutes after we have equalised, the exact time that Van Persie got sent off at Nou Camp, the ref suddenly points at the penalty spot and gives a ridiculous penalty for Udinese. And this similarity struck me. 3 minutes after securing a place in the next round last year the ref did us.

3 minutes after securing a place in the next round (group stages) the refS tried to do us again. This time by awarding the softest of penalties given in the champions league. Now I’m sure that the 5th ref behind the goal gave the penalty but still the ref on the field could have easily ignored the call. That is why I want to point at the extra “S” behind the word ref.

Was this the Busacca moment?  The moment that the refs played all or nothing with Arsenal? Was this the long arm of Platini? Or the long arm of Busacca? We can only be happy that the strongest arm on the night was the one of our young Polish goalkeeper.

It was Szczesny who saved us from the mental blow we got as when we lost Van Persie. By the way I liked the way he stood in front of Di Natale before the penalty telling him that he would stop his shot. What a guy. You just got to love him.

So this time our keeper saved us from the “mistakes” from the ref. And I keep on wondering: is this really a coincidence that every time within 3 minutes of Arsenal scoring a vital goal that will keep them in the Champions League the refs come up with something so ridiculous and try to spoil our game? And try to destroy our believe.

Ah well, if it evens out we will be the lucky ones on a few occasions in the next years. Will we?

The Untold Ref Review: Udinese/ Arsenal (other Untold ref reviews listed below – just scroll down)

The biggest problem with many Arsenal bloggers is they don’t have a winning mentality


Beyond Yann M’Vila: Ignasi Miquel, Francis Coquelin and Marvin Martin

Yann M’Vila + Jack Wilshere = Wow! (Plus Martin and Coquelin)

54 Replies to “Revealed: “The Busacca Moment” when referees move to fix the match”

  1. Walter,
    Sorry, but the correct spelling is “Basura”. (My inner dictionary tells me that it’s what rises to the top and floats. Sorry for the scatalogical usage, but at times the right name cuts to the chase.)

  2. Doing Arsenal is an essential career move. Riley does us in that unspeakable match at ManUre. Career move: Ref of Refs/EPL. Basura does us in that unspeakable match at Camp Nous. Career move: Ref of Refs/UEFA. Don’t need a guide dog to see it: one body, two arms.

  3. I hate Uefa and wat it represents-corruption-i hate burasa or bucassa watever yu call him for coniving with other offials to eliminate arsenal.i want to believe they hate arsenal so much that they want them booted out in the earliest stages and yet we hear nothing said abt this conspiracy-someone needs to expose them and expose them for good.corrupt wee ca…

  4. Although Walter and I are the main editors and writers on this site, because we live and work in different countries it is rare for us to have editorial conferences, and quite often I have no idea what Walter is going to write about until it appears on the site.

    Walter often surprises me, and I do enjoy his work enormously – but this piece is just so good. And it creates a new phrase that really ought to become as well known as Bosman, although for very different reasons.


  5. How about a bit further back, Champions League Quarter Final 2008 at Anfield. Arsenal have just equalized via Adebayor and are going through then less than a minute later Babel dives Liverpool get a penalty and we are heading out! “Infamy infamy, they’ve all got it in for me!”

  6. So, to stay parallel (whilst remaining accurate and keeping historical memory alive, as you do!), can UA abide two moments: the Busacca Moment (that does us and elevates him), and the Riley Moment (that did us and elevated him)? “The name’s the thing!” — Will Shake-Spear.

  7. You may Bob it was : Peter Frojdfeldt.

    So in April 2008 he threw us like Bobby Pliers said out of the CL at Liverpool.
    And he got rewarded only a month later as he was allowed to do the Europa League final of 2008. Played in may 2008 at Manchester City stadium.

    He then retired as he was 45 years old.

  8. Walter – spot on! Sorry Bob I read the quarter final listings wrong. Roberto refereed the Barcelona v Schalke QF. He still awarded a lot of penalties in big games though!

  9. Walter,
    all seriousness aside (ahem), the actual pattern/system of rewards has begun to clearly surface here. Surely it’s time to arrive at strictly “mathematical” and yes, statistical correlation of game-changing calls (at least, controversial calls) with the result of dumping Arsenal (or whoever is not ManUre) from a significant competition, with a clear reward to the referee – promotion to call a prestigious match, to the top of a prestigious (well, you know) football organisation. Come on Walter, yet another Untold — call it Untold Perks. An idea whose time has come…

  10. Walter,
    What’s in a name, eh?
    If Frojdfeldt means (more or less) joyous field, then surely he set a few thousand happy feet dancing on several Manchester fields that day.

  11. Walter, Gooners,
    Are we beaming (yet) our collective energies to stop the intended “Webb Moment” at Old Trafford this weekend. (Surely the Webbmeister is slouching his way toward OT to do a service for Lord Football in the Rednose XX.) Vigilance!

  12. The moment I saw the penalty .. that was the exact same thing that flashed through my head.
    RVP. Barca. Send off.
    Babel. Liverpool. Penalty.

    Who knows if its true? Highly possible though I guess.

  13. Walter,
    Am I correct in thinking that a referee can order a penalty to be retaken if it is saved by a keeper leaving his line?
    And did not Szez do so – if only fractionally but surely enough for a basura-type ref?
    Which makes me wonder – are refs allowed only one Busacca moment per game?

  14. couldn’t agree more with this. platini hates arsenal, particularly wenger.

    the babel penalty is another example after walcotts amazing run.

  15. Love the sarcasm
    Don’t forget the refs also had selective vision a deliberate elbow in Theo’s face. If this had been seen by any of the 5 Refs a Udinese player is sent off and we get a penalty. Happily it makes no difference to the outcome of the game and ultimate qualification. Do Uefa watch the match as do the premier League if so will there be any action about the elbow?

  16. Nasri has just described Wenger as being like a second dad. Cesc says he owes so much to Wenger.
    Lucky that the pair respected him so much. It would have been a nightmare if they hadn’t liked him!
    Anyway Nasri has declared that his move is nothing to do with the money.
    His contract for £9,100,000 a year had no bearing on his decision at all.

  17. I find it incredible as I watch Andy Townsend on ITV accepting Theo’s yellow card as deserved. This overpaid commentator hasn’t got a digit of intelligence behind his bent nose. Walcott was booked for being fit and alert. He was fouled and got up of the floor quickly. There is nothing in the Laws that allows the referee to call it a foul or to show a yellow card.

    Leaving behind the wonderful media brains, I must first explain the officiating in Champions League football. They had four officials, three of them on the pitch and a fourth official a spare really but on the sidelines taking the flak from disgruntled coaches. They decided that the three on the pitch were insufficient and they needed more on. So they got two more on. For want of a better name, they have really earned the name ‘more ons’. I have watched them at the Emirates in several CL games and they really ignore all the fouls, penalties, shirt pulling, pushing and any form of fouling that goes on. Their job is apparently only to observe the goal line and ensure a goal is given if the whole ball crosses the line. That is until today, when apparently one of the ‘more ons’ saw a handball and got the referee to give a penalty.

    Being an Arsenal supporter I didn’t think there was anything that warranted a penalty. Neither did the referee until a little birdie started singing in his ear. Apparently it was a ‘more on’ who had spotted the ball on the goal line,,, oops he saw a deliberate handball and wanted a penalty to be awarded. If the ball glanced of Vermaelen’s arm it was because he was being pushed from behind, and it wasn’t deliberate. It was obvious that the referee was being instructed by radio and he did the most bizarre thing by not querying the penalty. In this era of technology and the amount of money involved, it is easy to broadcast to a referee and feed him sufficient to earn a few million. In my view referees must go over to the official that is communicating and validate the call before awarding the penalty. It is what should have happened at Newcastle. It happens when a fit for purpose referee is officiating in spite of having radio communication.

    Can you imagine an unsolicited radio message calling for a penalty against Barca during a match versus Real Madrid?

    Now that would be a ‘Busacca moment’. It’s a lovely term for a cheat in black. Indeed, Webb are you ready for your next Busacca moment?

  18. I also found the holding call on Djourou during an Arsenal corner a bit out of the ordinary. Sure he was holding, but he was also being held, and I think another one of our players was being held as well.

    The commentators here were also a bit surprised by it, but they said it’s always easier to blow the whistle against the attacking team in these kinds of situations.

  19. In the first leg of that Liverpool tie, didn’t Dirk Kuyt commit a 100% obvious penalty but the ref ignored it? And then it turned out the ref was a family friend of the Kuyt’s.

  20. I suspect there’s a limit of how much the referee thinks he can get away with. For instance a straight red for a yellow card tackle on Messi is going to see a legbreaker in the next tackle in a Classico.

  21. Walter, your timing for coming up with this phrase simply couldn’t be better. Now somebody needs to let Mr. Webb know that there is actually a phrase for his “loyal” time at OT.

    “Busacca moment” — Brilliant. 🙂

  22. Cant we add the liverpool Arsenal match at emirates last year where a similar penalty and freekick is given minutes within the Arsenal goal even though the time was finished.. Did that ref also got some promotion.. I am sure he will be rewarded if not till now..

  23. I actually thought i was being paronoid about certain parties wanting to ruin and discredit AFC, but i realise i am not and sadly it is true.
    The economical run football club is seen as a danger to the money people, because they will not be able to have the control they have now, so they want to remove it before it catches on.

  24. It’s morning here in western Canada, and I normally visit the BBC and Arsenal sites before coming here. What’s running at the BBC? Sir Alex is fishing for “support” from the FA just ahead of our game with them this weekend. Then I come to Untold, and read this wonderful note by Walter. So, perhaps there will be another Busacca moment this weekend.

  25. Gord,
    yes, Fergie’s working the FA for a good outcome at OT on Sunday to “atone” right now for his “mistreatment” (past and future) at their hands.

  26. Great piece, the 3 minutes may have been coincidental, but the intent is definitely there. That penalty came out of nowhere and the reason behind it was obviously to not let us go through, even some free kicks later had me shaking my head a bit.

  27. @ Ian Trevett
    “Apologies for being off topic!”
    Don’t apologise, I laughed out loud.

  28. Oneniltothearsenal,
    That “nowhere” you mention is really (as we know) a “somewhere” that can be identified, over time, by its behavior. When it looks like a cobra, and spits like a cobra, it’s a _____. Time will tell.

  29. It was actually three penalty decisions all wrongly going against us. TV5’s phantom penalty, trip on Ramsey not given, and elbow to Theo’s face not given.

  30. Oneniltothearsenal,
    Very good question. Let me try and help:
    Just fill in the blank with the most appropriate answer:
    a) Platini
    b) UEFA board meeting
    c) Sun phone-hacker
    d) local toxic waste dump
    e) Basura (aka Busacca)
    f) all of the above

  31. Bob,
    While I feel it would be unfair to the toxic waste dump, I’m leaning to an all of the above

  32. Onetonilthearsenal,
    Alright, then! Good one. My hope is that the Guardian Football Crew would run this as a fan poll over the weekend. It’s a faint hope, alas, as I’d bet the farm that they’re too close to running a “Who WILL replace Wenger?” poll to bother with my poll here. But, one last thing, what if I were to substitute “MU Office at Old Trafford” for toxic waste dump as a new option for (d)? Would you still choose (e) as your answer? Cheers. 🙂

  33. Well, I don’t think Benquerenca, the ref in the Udinese match was out to get us because he didn’t fall for that play acting, comedia del arte, by Neuton when Rosko got the ball and Neuton tripped over him after the fact among other things.

    Moreover the scandalous penalty decision was almost certainly given by the “more-on” who maybe wasn’t being ethical in this match.

    Now we have the addition of these more-on officials behind the net who on corner kicks can make match changing decisions as to what is a penalty (Vermaelen handling) or what is a free out (Djourou holding).

    So it seems now that it will be easier for unscrupulous interests, betting circles and the like, to find a match official who can turn a game because now there are 3 (ignoring the two linesmen)

  34. Dowd had quite a few Busacca moments last year, not just the 4-4 Newcastle.

    I wonder how Webb will get on Sunday.

  35. Yes there is a problem, and Walter has done a great job again in highlighting it but, if it really is this bent we may as well all go home.
    I want to believe that the problem we have is the idealistic approach from the club and the players. I believe that it is an approach to games that is based on a purist philosophy and not a necessarily a win at all costs professional approach.
    Listen Guys i hate Mourinho, and when he was called the enemy of football i screamed with delight, and agreed wholeheartedly but. He knows what goes on in a game, how professionals approach a game, with a view to winning at all costs, and his record speaks for itself.
    When he took Inter to the Nou Camp it was a performance of technical brilliance and professionalism. Boring as watching paint dry, but he played the game, not football, the system.
    I hope the reason we get hard done by, which we undoubtedly do, is because we try to play the game the way it is supposed to be, and we run our club on principle. We have a manager who does not court the press, and seeks no favour from anyone. That was NO FAVOUR FROM ANYONE!!!! So he gets no favour from anyone, to win we have to be better than the rest plus whatever the system can throw at us, to loose we just have to give them the slightest opportunity, that has been our shortfall in recent years, we simply provide them to many opportunities to shaft us. Ultimately it is self-inflicted.

  36. Laundryender,
    yes, we have it within our power to try and overcome a lot of documented odds. you’ve just proven the odds against us. but to equate that situation with in the end it’s all self-inflicted doesn’t, well, equate. in the end, it’s whether we can, eyes open, get overselves through against the odds. and to do that means total commitment, eyes open, by our lads, knowing about the 13th player and the rest. so, perhaps we can agree on a lot here in any case. if it’s only on us, then there’d be no point to pushing for a more even playing field that’s too often tilted against us, as you know. so i would also say that it’s a self-inflicted fate if we, as fans, don’t do all we can to advocate for fair play on an even pitch that is finally corrected for the ref-shite. and, absent that kind of advocacy, we do inflict our own wounds, as fans.

  37. Gooner Gal,
    Fergie’s already just called in today’s papers for the FA to atone to him for selecting too many of his players for the English team. Now that, thanks to Johnny Deigh, I/all can realize that Basura (aka Busacca) is the head of referees for FIFA (not UEFA is I mistakenly thought), perhaps the combination of the Webb-Weaver and Basura on Fergie’s own turf will affect the betting patterns in “predictable” ways. As someone said a couple of weeks ago here on UA, being a Gooner is not for the faint of heart. Courage! Go Gooners!

  38. PS

    Watching Barca V Porto

    Barca are a wonderfully gifted team, but professional to the core.

    Idealism at Arsenal has reached such heights that we moan at our own players for diving. Ask any pro about diving and he will tell you it is about guaranteeing a decision.
    I am not advocating diving, but I do suggest that we may be victims of our own philosophy

  39. @ Bob
    I do not say it is all self inflicted
    but we can control what is within our realm, and we should do so.

  40. Ok a scenario
    Barton Grabs Gervinho by the throat in the box, in the box with the ball live.
    Should Gervinho?
    1. Smack Barton in the mouth giving him the chance to go down and distract attention from his misdemeanour
    2. Go to the floor holding his face winning the rightful penalty with an exaggerated dramatism, resulting in Barton being sent off and Gervinho playing against Liverpool.
    Answers in an envelope please to AW @ AFC
    PS, I do LUV AW, and all that he stands for but the game is now so bloody cut throat, he really needs a sharper blade.

  41. Great article as usual, Walter!
    I’ll pass on the comments to Mike Riley 🙂

    I watched the Barca vs Porto game this evening. Two things stood out for me in terms of the refereeing:

    1) Messi is flagged offside and 1 second after the whistle goes, he kicks the ball into the net. Does this scenario sound familiar to anyone? So, given our experience last season against Barca, we’d expect a yellow card for the mercurial Argentine. But no, nothing is done, no action taken. Where the heck is the consistency????!!!!

    2) Abidal loses the ball in his own penalty area and gets tackled by a Porto player. He fouls said player who goes down. A penalty to Porto surely?! But no, even though the ref’s assistant on the sideline was no more than 10m away and even though the fifth official behind the goal line was no more than 10m away, it’s deemed to be no foul!!!???

    No wonder UEFA don’t want video technology brought in….Barca wouldn’t get away with anywhere near as much as they do now.

    Kee up the outstanding work 🙂

  42. bob,
    So the MU office isn’t a toxic waste dump?! I’ve been grossly misinformed

  43. Mr Broeckx

    The Chicago Mafia has a saying:

    ‘Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence. But three times is enemy action…’

    It would appear that the Scottish national side suffers similarly where potential qualification for tournaments is now concerned.

    And Darren Fletcher where appearances in Champions League finals are concerned…….

    At the moment all those three are filed in the Chicago mafia’s ‘coincidence’ drawer…..

    You fancy getting together with those appalling associates of Sir Alex Ferguson to see what is to be done, eh?!

  44. Busacca will surely rot in hell for what he did.
    Here i am re-watching Barca_Uefa_favorite vs Arsenal on FOX Soccer channel, still don’t believe what this guy did against us.

Comments are closed.