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Wenger Slams UCL Referees, Pushes for Technology Aids

  • ESPN FC, Friday, April 12, 2013 1:39 PM

Arsene Wenger on Friday condemned the quality of the refereeing in the UEFA Champions League this season, particularly in the recently concluded quarterfinal round, saying that the European game desperately needs the help of technology to prevent poor decisions from affecting big games.

"When you look at the level of the referee that we have seen in Europe this week, it is absolutely disastrous what happened,” the Arsenal coach said. "The major decisions that have gone wrong in the Champions League ... football cannot accept that.” In particular, Wenger singled out Borussia Dortmund’s contentious 3-2 quarterfinal win against Malaga on Tuesday. "In Dortmund, when you have four players who are offside and no one sees it, how can that happen? Then another player is offside and he scores a goal and we have to stand here and defend it. It's absolutely not acceptable.”

The Frenchman suggested that TV replays would help. "I would like at least to see in a major decision like that, to decide who goes to the semifinals of the Champions League, for the referee to have an opportunity to see whether a goal is valid or not. This is just to do with justice. The more assistance the referees get, the better."

To that end, Wenger applauded the English Premier League’s decision on Thursday to deploy goal-line technology from Hawk-Eye beginning next season. "If [goal-line technology] works in the Premier League, and I don't think it can fail, it will put pressure on UEFA," he said. "The technology can help the officials, so we have to use it. Controversy is not good for football. What is good for football is the right decisions.”

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