The referee who took charge of Barcelona’s remarkable 6-1 Champions League victory over PSG faces the prospect of being demoted.
Reports in Spain claim that Deniz Aytekin may be removed from Champions League duty following his display, which was marred by a number of controversial decisions.
The German official’s decision not to award PSG a penalty when Javier Mascherano brought down Angel di Maria in the box has fallen under particular scrutiny.
Mascherano later admitted: “It is clear that I did foul Di Maria but I think that is not the reason why we eliminated PSG.
Aytekin went on to award Barcelona an injury-time penalty when Luis Suarez fell in the box under minimal contact. Neymar converted the spot-kick before Sergi Roberto scored in the sixth minute of injury-time, as Barcelona won the tie 6-5 on aggregate.
The referee has been heavily criticised in the French press for his performance and now the Spanish publication Marca are reporting that Aytekin is likely to be struck from the Champions League match officials list.
That decision ultimately rests with former referee Pierluigi Collina, who now works as Uefa’s Head of Refereeing.
“Aytekin's match report has reached Pierluigi Collina, head of the European Refereeing committee, at the headquarters in Nyon,” Marca reports.
“While the Federation has publicly come to his defence, it has also internally gone over the mistakes made, as is customary after matches.”
PSG head coach Unai Emery was less than impressed with Aytekin’s display and cited his refusal to award Di Maria a penalty as one of the key turning points in the galling defeat.
“We had chances to make it 3-2 and then the refereeing decisions, I don't know if they were right or not, but for sure they damaged us” he commented after the match. “Then in the last two minutes we lost everything we had recovered in the second-half.”
Earlier in the week, Fifa president Gianni Infantino came out in support of Uefa’s group of elite match officials and added that the introduction of Video Assistant Referees will cut down on the number of contentious decisions in the future.
"Whether that particular case was an injustice or not, we can leave it to the judgement of the referee,” he said.
"We saw was an incredible football match, whatever the result would have been at the end. This shows that football is really a fantastic game. When you feel you have seen everything, something else comes along. It's just amazing and incredible.
"We have to really be careful in the International Football Association Board if we want to touch the rules, because football is such an incredible game.
"In this case, I don't know if it was a clear mistake or not. But in future, when there are clear mistakes, this will be corrected by the video assistant referee so we can make sure decisive matches are not decided by mistakes made in good faith by the referee."
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