By Tony Attwood
SC Freiburg gained a point against Mainz at the weekend, after first falling behind in the match.
Now I know that is hardly a matter for debate on Untold Arsenal much as we do like to stay in touch with European football. But this one incident shines a very, very bright light on the extremely dubious doings of the PGMO and it needs to be explored. Even though of course you won’t be allowed to read a word of what follows in the English media. Or hear it debated on radio or TV.
Because on this occasion the match referee, Deniz Aytekin, admitted after the game that the VAR review should have resulted in a different result. And that is something you will never, ever hear in Premier League football – because it would affect the god-like image of PGMO and its staff.
So two questions arise: why did the referee in Germany say this, and why can’t it happen in English football?
In the game in question, which occurred this past weekend, Mainz 05 took the lead at SC Freiburg on the half hour. The goal was in keeping with the way the game was going, except that the goal should not have counted. But it was given, even by VAR.
However after the game, on Sky TV in Germany, the referee, Mr Aytekin, a Fifa referee who is ranked as a Uefa elite category referee, explained why the left-footed shot should not have resulted in a goal. (We could actually pause and marvel at this – something utterly unthinkable in English football – the referee comes on TV to be interviewed – but there is more to the story so we must proceed).
“We actually checked the handball. The focus was completely on handball,” and VAR confirmed that there had been no handball. But that wasn’t the point. As the referee then pointed out in the interview the goalscorer was offside and “the goal shouldn’t have counted.”
And this was not a comment made in the light of evidence from an obscure camera angle – it was revealed on the replay and Mr Aytekin admitted the mistake in no uncertain terms. Indeed he clearly stated, “the video assistant focused on this handball” as indeed did the Freiburg players.
This was why, when viewing the images, the VAR referee did not check offside. Mr Aytekin, was quite clear in the interview, concluding, “It slipped through in the end … that’s annoying, but the goal shouldn’t have counted.”
Having made these comments (which would be quite impossible in England because as we note every season, due to the fear of PGMO that something like this might slip out, referees are forbidden from commenting) Mr Aytekin received support from Freiburg coach Christian Streich, who said that “such mistakes” can happen.
He added, “You always think it can’t be that something like that happens, but we all make mistakes and can’t explain why afterwards.” Although the goal scorer was clearly standing in an offside position “you would imagine that offside should be checked. But through focussing on checking the hand the VAR team forgot to check offside.”
The coach of Freiburg then we on to applaud the work of the referee. “Mr. Aytekin can’t help it because he simply didn’t see it. I think it’s good that he simply apologized and stood up for his colleagues…That’s the way to do it.”
But of course it doesn’t happen like this in England because discussions about referees are minimised in the media, and there most certainly cannot be any interviews with the referees. PGMO referees have to have a designated car in which a designated driver drives them away from the ground (presumably for fear that they might become impregnated with thoughts of an unacceptable kind if they drove away with anyone else.) And no one in the mass media publicises the number of times the same referee gets the same team.
The question in England ought to be why? Why are the PGMO so fanatical about secrecy – fanatical in a way that makes PGMO and English refereeing a laughing stock across Europe? What has PGMO got to hide that makes it act in this way? And why will the media not even discuss the fact that they are not allowed to discuss the workings of PGMO?
Of course we don’t have a man on the inside, so we don’t know, but generally speaking organisations that adopt this level of secrecy do so because they have something very serious to hide. The question is, what?
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