Barcelona complains about refereeing in PSG draw
BARCELONA, Spain (AP)
Barcelona has sent a letter to UEFA in protest against some of the referee's decisions in the 2-2 draw at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Club spokesman Toni Freixa said on Friday that referee Wolfgang Stark of Germany ''did not apply the rules of the game.''
Freixa specifically cited Stark's failure to stop play after Barcelona defenders Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba collided and fell to the turf. The referee then forced both off the pitch momentarily, leaving Barcelona to defend a corner with nine men.
''We (the squad and staff) agree with the letter sent to UEFA because we think this is about a written rule that was not kept,'' Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura said. ''We are respectful of referees, but there are certain things that I think should be said. These are specific issues for individual matches.''
Neither Freixa nor Roura mentioned that PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared to be offside when he scored to make it 1-1, nor UEFA's decision to reduce Ibrahimovic's two-game ban to one for his challenge on Valencia's Andres Guardado in the previous round, allowing him to play against Barcelona.
''I am surprised,'' PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said. ''I don't think the referee caused Barca problems ... but I don't think it's to put pressure (on the next referee).''
Ancelotti also repeated his opinion that Alexis Sanchez didn't deserve to be awarded a late penalty for Barcelona after colliding with goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
''It wasn't a penalty, I'm sure,'' Ancelotti said. ''And I'm very objective. He looked for the `keeper. Maybe Sirigu made a mistake, but it's 100 percent clear that Sanchez didn't try to avoid contact.''
Barcelona hosts PSG on Wednesday in the return leg.