Rage in the Czech Republic: 'Referee wanted to be the man of the match'

The disappointment in the Czech Republic was immense after being eliminated from the European Championship. A victory over Turkey would have been enough for a place in the round of 16, but after an early red card for Antonín Barák, the quarter-finalist of the previous European Championship went down ingloriously (1-2).

Rage in the Czech Republic: 'Referee wanted to be the man of the match' Embed from Getty Images

Barák received his second yellow card from Istvan Kovács after just twenty minutes, who issued a total of eighteen yellow cards and two red cards.

The Romanian referee thus set a European Championship record. His refereeing style drew considerable criticism in the Czech Republic. Especially captain Tomás Soucek, who briefly gave his country hope with the equalizer in the second half, did not hide his dissatisfaction.

"His decisions were unfortunate," responded the 29-year-old West Ham United midfielder to Sport afterward. "It's good that only the captains are allowed to talk to the referee at the European Championship, but this referee was so arrogant that he didn't even want to talk to us. A good referee does not stand out. But he wanted to be the man of the match. And that is regrettable."

Soucek believed that Turkey should have received a red card as well and heard that a goal by substitute Jan Kuchta was wrongly disallowed. "I saw the replay after the game, and it was clear that the goal should have stood. Moments like this can change the outcome of a match. It’s frustrating to see such crucial decisions go against us," Soucek added. However, the Czech captain acknowledged that his team also did not do everything right. "There were many situations that we did not handle well ourselves. We are not looking for excuses, but these are moments that influence the match."

Coach Ivan Hasek did not want to point fingers at Kovács after the elimination. "I don't want it to be written that I am complaining about the referee and that we were eliminated because of him. We were eliminated because we didn't win against Georgia," he referred to the previous group match. "We had our chances in that game and we didn’t take them. We failed, this is a great pity. We have a team that could have progressed. I am angry and sad."

The Czech fans shared their frustration, feeling that the referee's decisions overshadowed their team’s efforts. Social media was flooded with comments and memes criticizing Kovács. Despite the disappointment, there was also a sense of unity among the fans, who praised the team for their fighting spirit and urged them to come back stronger in future tournaments.

The aftermath of the match saw discussions among pundits and analysts about the quality of refereeing in the tournament. Some called for stricter measures and better training for referees to ensure fair play, while others emphasized the need for better use of technology to assist in critical decisions. The debate highlighted the ongoing challenges in maintaining the integrity of the game at the highest level.

Updated: 11:35, 27 Jun 2024

Lattest News

More News