Officials making the headlines again

After a relatively incident free weekend in the Premiership, the officials are once again making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. During the Champions League encounter between FC Schalke 04 and Arsenal and Manchester City’s game with Ajax, both referee’s were both guilty of grave errors of judgment, leading to costly mistakes that could hinder both domestic sides in their pursuit to qualify from their respective groups.

Focusing on the Gunners first, while there was a case for an apparent foul on Theo Walcott in the build-up to Klaas Jan Huntelaar’s opener; it was during the second half that an incident occurred that riled the Arsenal players.

With Lukas Podolski getting the better of Schalke defender Marco Hoger, the young German fell to the ground clutching his ankle. Now, while playing with an injured player on the field isn’t the most sporting action in the world, the Premiership side were well within their right to continue playing.

However, Nicola Rizzoli, despite it not being a head injury, chose to stop play with Arsenal on the attack and threatening to restore their two goal advantage. Nevertheless, while the decision was the wrong one, it pales in comparison to the goings on at the Etihad Stadium.

City had managed to pull back from two goals down at home to Ajax and were intent on netting a vital winner. The hosts felt they had done just that in the dying embers, when Sergio Aguero tapped home from Aleksandar Kolarov’s cross.

Yet, despite it being Peter Rasmussen’s assistant flagging for offside, replays clearly show that Kolarov was onside when played through by Edin Dzeko in the build up. Furthermore, having blown for half-time after City had won a corner, the Dane opted to do the same once again at the end of the encounter, blowing for full-time and denying the hosts a dead-cert penalty after Mario Balotelli had been dragged down in the Ajax 18-yard box.

It wasn’t the greatest of nights for the officials in either encounter, especially with the spotlight currently thrust upon those in the Premiership following recent accusations and poor decisions in the Premier League.