Last week in the first leg between PAOK and Spartak Trnava at Toumba, the Norwegian referee Svein-Erik Edvartsen did his best in order to help the Slovakian club get a good result ahead of the second leg at home. But he did not make it. On Thursday night the German referee Tobias Welz tried to complete this mission. A soft penalty decision like those given in the Greek Super League, a harsh red card and a much-like deputy lieutenant’s behaviour to give in favour of Spartak Trnava every single decision.
To the above decision you can include two incidents from Panathinaikos games against Club Brugge. The harsh red card shown to Sergio Sanchez in the first leg which was given after the referee changed his mind to alter his first decision of a yellow card to red. Also in the second leg, Panathinaikos denied a blatant penalty against Berg.
So, the question which raises is why Panathinaikos and PAOK face this kind of treatment from the referees in their European games? They're not just two decisions which happened by coincidence, but a numerous bad refereeing calls which could manipulate the result.
In PAOK's situation the opponent was such of low quality that the refereeing decisions just kept Spartak Trnava within the game. In Panathinaikos's situation, despite the fact the Club Brugge were the better side in both legs, who can deny that if Panathinaikos played 11 against 11 in the first leg or if they had be given Berg's penalty in the second leg that the outcome would be different?
So, is these bad refereeing calls against the two Greek clubs only a pure coincidence? Or this treatment has to do with the recent complaints of Panathinaikos and PAOK to UEFA over the criminal organisation scandal in Greece and the match-fixing scandal in Greek football. Does UEFA want to teach a lesson to both Greek clubs? And if yes, why? Why the just not reject their claims if they do not have any credibility?
So, if this is wrong, what else could be going on? What can you imagine providing the fact that the opponents of the Greek clubs were not Real Madrid and Barcelona with the fame and the influence these big clubs may have?
In order to give emphasis to the above facts mentioned, just to remind that on the 23rd of July Olympiakos had hit back at Panathinaikos and PAOK accusing them to UEFA for disparaging the sport and breaking Champions League rules. On that day, despite that, the reports coming from Olympiakos said that within UEFA there is an increased unrest against Panathinaikos and PAOK.
This is the actual report over the issue: “Finally, from Olympiakos it has been stated on Thursday that this case has turned into a communicative victory of Olympiakos within UEFA's ranks. Olympiakos think that the actions of Panathinaikos and PAOK did not have any credibility and they happened for communicative reasons only. Specifically after Panathinaikos went the case into CAS for the decision which had already been issued causing big irritation to the UEFA's executives”.
Draw your own conclusions...