Referee Deniz Aytekin may have thought that he’d escape with his dubious showing during Barcelona’s miraculous Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain last week, with the Catalan giants’ remarkable 6-1 triumph stealing the attention.
However, reports in Spain after the match indicated that the referee was in danger of being removed from UCL duties after his sub-par showing and a series of controversial calls.
Marca reported that Aytekin’s decision to award Barca a stoppage-time penalty—a decision which sparked outrage among PSG supporters—was one particular incident that Uefa were considering, with Luis Suarez’s tumble appearing largely unprovoked.
“UEFA sources have confirmed to Marca that it is [Uefa head of refereeing Pierluigi] Collina's way of cutting mistakes out from his team of officials,” the Spanish paper reported.
“However the body won't strictly punish the German official, although he could find himself demoted to lesser profile games for the time being or simply removed from action for a specific period.”
Goal readers on social media were torn when questioned about the potential decision to suspend Aytekin.
Zuberi Sarahani was one reader who preferred that the two teams stole the attention, rather than the ref. “Nonsense!” he wrote on Facebook. “Does demotion to Ref mean anything to the football world!?
“I'll understand them if they demote Barcelona and promote PSG to the Quarter Final.”
Bryan Chow also insisted that it was ‘useless’ to demote a ref, although Haruna Ibrahim had sympathy with PSG, who he felt were wronged by Aytekin.
“It’s like this every season in Uefa,” he began. “Chelsea, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Bayern Munich are all victims of bad refereeing in favour of Barca.
“This nonsense must stop.”
In light of the controversy surrounding Aytekin, and the split opinions of Goal’s followers, we’re keen to get the consensus on the referee and whether Uefa should take action after his performance in Barca’s historic triumph.