UEFA have appointed Serbian referee, Milorad Mazic to officiate the Champions League final clash between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26 at Kiev, Ukraine but a more experienced Dutch referee, Bjorn Kuipers will oversee the Atletico Madrid vs Marseille Europa League final game on May 16 in Lyon, France.
The appointment of Mazic as the centre man in Europe’s biggest club competition may yet re-open old wounds in the heart of Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo who was a victim of the Serbian officiating in 2014 World Cup where Germany pummeled Portugal 4-0 at the football Mundial.
Mazic controversial Penalty call against Portugal was seen as a turning point in the game that left Ronaldo infuriated. Mazic was also said to have made other questionable calls when he officiated Argentina’s slim 1-0 victory over Iran. A game that prompted the Iranian Coach, to speak out on the referee’s performance asking “How can this guy sleep tonight, or for the rest of his life? With all respect, I would like to have the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with him. Why did he do that to us?”
Many wonders why UEFA will appoint a more experienced referee in Bjorn Kuipers for the Europa League final and a seemingly controversy clouded Serbian centre man for a bigger game such as the Champions League final.
Kuipers trumps the Serbian ref in European Club competitions, having officiated 64 games when compared to the later 46 games.
Milorad Mazic’s last game in this season’s Champions league was Juventus-Barcelona group stage game in November.
He has since failed to make any UCL knockout games. Unlike Mazic, Europa League final ref, Bjorn Kuipers officiated Real Madrid’s 1-2 semi-final win at Bayern Munich. He was also at the centre when Chelsea defeated Benfica in 2013 Europa final and the 2014 Madrid’s UCL triumph over Atletico in the final.
In a poll by redcardtheref.com, Mazic was voted at the worst 2014 World Cup referee, amassing over 87,000 votes out of 110,000.
Although both referees will be featuring in the year’s World Cup in Russia, many would have preferred the Dutchman over the Serbian for the Champions League final.