UEFA sends Collina to monitor Barca-Madrid clash
UEFA is sending Italian refereeing great Pierluigi Collina to
monitor Belgian match official Frank de Bleeckere’s handling of a
potentially volatile Champions League semifinals clash between
Barcelona and Real Madrid.
UEFA has named Collina, its head of referees, as its official
observer at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.
While UEFA sends a referee observer to every match it organizes,
it is rare for Collina to be called in.
UEFA’s choice of the 44-year-old de Bleeckere, who has a
long-standing reputation as one of Europe’s best referees, also
reflects the high-risk status it has given the rematch of storied
After Barcelona won a bad-tempered first leg 2-0 last Wednesday,
Madrid made a failed protest to UEFA about German referee Wolfgang
Stark sending off Pepe when the game was scoreless.
Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was sent from the dugout by Stark for
his comments about Pepe’s red card, then later accused UEFA and its
referees of actively helping Barcelona reach Champions League
Mourinho included de Bleeckere in the supposed conspiracy after
his handling of the second leg of last year’s semifinal when the
Portuguese coach’s 10-man Inter Milan side eliminated
UEFA named another Italian official, Sergio di Cesare, to serve
as its match delegate on Tuesday.
UEFA’s disciplinary panel will meet Friday to examine six
charges arising from the first-leg match.
Mourinho, who is banned from the touchline Tuesday, faces
further punishment for his comments during and after the match.
Pepe also faces a longer ban for his red-card challenge, and Madrid
has been charged for its fans throwing objects and invading the
Barcelona’s substitute goalkeeper Jose Pinto has been charged
over his part in a touchline brawl at halftime.
Collina was referee for the second leg when Madrid and Barcelona
last met in the Champions League semifinals.
In 2002, the sides drew 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium
allowing Madrid to advance and win the title.
Collina also refereed the 2002 World Cup final, when Brazil beat
Germany 2-0, and Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich
in the 1999 Champions League final.