Benfica through their president Luis Felipe Vieira have termed the Champions League exist as a ‘outrage’ and they have vowed to protest to the Portuguese Football Federation.
Many might be wondering why Vieira is not going through UEFA and the truth is am just as shocked as you are, however, having watched the match, i do believe Benfica have a reason to feel short changed.
The Portuguese side were the better of the two in the opening minutes of the game and they should have gone forward on more than two occasion were it not for their lack of sharpness in front of goal.
Despite that, Benfica had a number of decisions go against them with referee Damir Skomina failing to award free kicks for clear fouls committed on them. This coupled with Maxi Pereira’s 40th minute dismissal for a foul on John Obi Mikel proved to be the holes that ultimately sunk their ship.
Speaking after the match, Vieira told RTP that it was shocking the number of decisions that went against them.
“Whether we were there (in Lisbon) or here (in London), we were not allowed to eliminate Chelsea, Benfica were the better team and deserved to go through, but other factors seriously hindered us. We lacked luck.”
“We can’t understand how a Slovenian referee was in charge of this match and we will explain our position to the Portuguese Football Federation,” he said.
“I don’t know whether the federation is capable of doing anything. Surely everyone saw what happened here. It is evident that this is a business and that there was no desire to see Benfica go through. Refereeing has reached a scandalous point.”
One thing i do agree with Vieira about is that level of refereeing in the tournament has gone way down. Surely, if these were isolated cases, you would at least claim human error, however, with a growing trend of such cases, UEFA reputation is seriously at stake.
It’s still not certain whether UEFA will look into both Milan and Benfica cases, however, for the sake of the tournament and the game, it is advisable if they did.
photo credit © RiCArdO JorGe FidALGo