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Friday, 24 October 2008

How Refreshing To Have A Referee Like This !!

manchester united united cristiano ronaldoOFFICIALS in charge of Celtic's 3-0 Champions League loss to Manchester United on Tuesday have apologised to the Parkhead club for errors in their handling of key incidents during the match. The Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere and his assistants Peter Hermans and Alex Verstraeten came under fire after Dimitar Berbatov netted the opening two goals despite being offside each time. They also ruled out a legitimate Wayne Rooney strike as the SPL champions were out-classed by the Champions League holders.

It takes a big man to admit you got things wrong, despite the fact the offside offences were very difficult to spot. It's easy for us to watch TV and see 10 slow motion replays and then pour scorn on the ref who sees it just once in real time and from an entirely different perspective to us. Rob Styles might like to take note of this guy and what he said.

De Bleeckere said: "At the moment itself, we were not aware of the error. There was no protest. I walked off the field with a good feeling. But when you see the images, it's a shame. The officials are a team. We must help each other and see it as a learning curve."

Assistant referee Verstraeten yesterday admitted that he had been stung by a wave of criticism which followed the Group E encounter.

"This is the first time that we have made a mistake in 52 international matches. I admit to the mistakes, but we also ask for understanding. Offside decisions are the hardest to judge. We are only human. It is our bad luck that the mistakes came at goals. We made mistakes and that should not happen. It is no consolation that Manchester United would have won without these decisions. Some players argue their case in front of us, but no Celtic player protested. That proves that the offside decisions were very tight. At the end of the match I was surprised when I saw the television images."

Meanwhile, John Hartson has insisted Celtic can still qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League despite damaging defeats to Manchester United and Villarreal and a disappointing home draw with Aalborg that has left them sitting third in Group E, six points adrift of the La Liga side.

Former Celtic striker Hartson said: "I think you have to keep believing and the amazing thing about Celtic is that they have a fantastic home record, and Celtic are capable of winning their next three games. Now they can finish on ten points, so they are capable of beating Manchester United in two weeks' time and Villarreal and Aalborg. While it is still mathematically possible I think Celtic fans should keep believing they can do it." .....Back To Home Page

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