Watch: Is this the worst refereeing decision you’ve ever seen?
When Wales international Ethan Ampadu made a perfectly timed tackle in a match between his club Venezia and Salernitana in Seria A last night, he certainly didn’t expect what happened next.
Much to the amazement of Ampadu and his astonished teammates, the Welshman’s sliding block on former French international Franck Ribéry, resulted in the Chelsea player, currently on loan in Italy, to be shown the red card.
Not only did the referee initially play on but it was only when he clocked the Frenchman rolling around as if he’d had his leg removed below the knee that the ref shocked everyone by pulling out a red card.
What made the decision even more incredible was that the red card stood despite the intervention of VAR.
To add insult to injury Venezia conceded a 95th minute goal to lose the game 2-1.
Venezia’s Ethan Ampadu was shown a red card for this challenge 🤔
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 27, 2021
So incensed were the Venice club that their president Duncan Niederauer took the unprecedented step of speaking to the press after the game.
He said: “I never speak after matches, I always leave that burden to the players and the manager, but tonight is different. I felt the duty to do so.
“What happened tonight is the same thing that happened last season at Salernitana, when the match was stolen by the referee’s decisions. I deeply respect the work of the referees, but I can’t help but wonder what happened in Salerno then and what happened tonight. The thing we ask is to review the images as we have seen them. They made us play without a man in a fundamental game for an unjust expulsion.
“The appeal that I’m making is for Venezia to be treated like any other club in Serie A. There is VAR for cases like these, and this evening it has not been used properly. We play our game correctly, and I would like the rest of the people involved in the games to do their job correctly as well.
“The most important thing, however, and I want to emphasize this, is that I am proud of our boys and our manager, because once again they gave everything to win.
“We have to face a tough climb, which is now even more difficult, but the sure thing is we will fight as hard as we did until today, and even more, to be able to do it.“