Reports in Spain suggest Deniz Aytekin may be removed from Champions League duty after making controversial calls in a 6-1 thriller at Camp Nou
The man at the centre of Barcelona’s remarkable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, Deniz Aytekin, may have taken charge of his last Champions League game this season, according to Marca.
The German referee made a controversial late call at Camp Nou on Wednesday which allowed Barca to complete their stunning 6-1 fightback.
Luis Enrique’s side had entered the second leg of their last 16 encounter trailing 4-0 on aggregate, but hit back in style to book their place in the quarter-finals.
After edging their way back into the game, the tie looked to be over for Barca when Edinson Cavani grabbed an away goal for PSG.
There was, however, to be thrilling finish to the encounter that delivered three goals in the final seven minutes.
Of those, it was Aytekin’s awarding of a stoppage-time penalty which sparked outrage within the PSG ranks – having previously waved Angel Di Maria to his feet after tangling with Javier Mascherano.
Luis Suarez, who had already been booked for diving, went down in the box late on under minimal contact, with the match officials eventually coming to the conclusion that a spot-kick should be awarded.
Neymar converted and Sergi Roberto snatched a last-gasp sixth for Barca as they edged their way through.
While the celebrations in Catalonia promise to drag on for some time, Aytekin is facing up to the prospect of seeing his 2016-17 Champions League campaign brought to a close.
Marca report that UEFA’s head of refereeing, Pierluigi Collina, is considering taking the 38-year-old out of the firing line.
The Spanish publication says: “UEFA sources have confirmed to Marca that it is Collina’s way of cutting mistakes out from his team of officials.
“However the body won’t strictly punish the German official, although he could find himself demoted to lesser profile games for the time being or simply removed from action for a specific period.”
Fifa president Gianni Infantino has, however, backed UEFA’s group of officials and their ability to make big decisions.
He said: “Whether that particular case was an injustice or not, we can leave it to the judgement of the referee.
“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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