Have you ever had a sneaking suspicion that the officials seemed to be actively against your team rather than independent arbiters of the game? Well this clip of a Champions League assistant referee asking for an autograph after a match will certainly not help your fears.
After Tuesday’s match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, a Romanian assistant referee was caught asking forward Erling Haaland for an autograph in the tunnel as both teams made their way to their respective locker rooms. The 20-year-old rising star did oblige, but not without obvious criticism.
It’s worth pointing out that Dortmund did lose the first leg of this match, and that one of the most controversial calls of the game went against the German club. Still, even if City went on to win, the lack of professionalism of someone who’s actively getting paid to not be a starstruck fan would still be on display.
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Not only that, but, as Grant Wahl pointed out, the crew has now added this ethical violation into a growing laundry list of mistakes.
Haaland is one of soccer’s best rising stars at the moment, with 21 Bundesliga goals and 10 goals in the Champions League at just 20 years old. Even with his current club floundering in form, he’s still expected to be involved in a major transfer splash this summer.