DURING half-time in the Real MadridLiverpool game, Felix Brych was in the tunnel, chatting and smiling with Luka Modric and Karim Benzema, among others.
Nothing wrong with that. He has met these guys hundreds of times. Why wouldn’t they be cordial? Why wouldn’t they have a chinwag? And when the game kicks off? Goes without saying: ultra-professional.
But now, it seems the Romanian Referees’ Committee has suspended Octavian Sovre (below) for collecting the signature of Erling Haaland on red and yellow cards (above) to raise money for an autism charity. No doubt, they were under pressure from UEFA.
In a ridiculous fuss about nothing, UEFA’s chief refereeing officer Roberto Rossetti wrote to officials, saying: “If you want to be respected as much as the players, why would you ask for their autograph or their shirt? This is simply unacceptable, this is a matter of dignity.”
What pompous nonsense.
Dignity is asking a favour of someone to help raise money for a good cause and dignity is doing the favour, as Haaland did.
The authorities should not even have felt compelled to respond.
But that is UEFA for you. Big on the things that don’t really matter.