Former referee admits PSG were robbed against Barcelona in 2017 Champions League match


By overturning a four-goal deficit and defeating Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 in the second leg of their last-16 match in 2017, Barcelona accomplished unquestionably the biggest comeback in Champions League history.


Though many said that the inclusion of a VAR system would have resulted in the Parisians winning the match over two legs, the refereeing decision was heavily criticized that evening.

The manager of the Ligue 1 team at the time, Unai Emery, is said to have called on referee Tony Chapron’s door the weekend after the contentious calls during a league match against Lorient. Chapron ultimately disclosed what he had discussed with the PSG leader at the time of their encounter.

“I initially believed he had come to protest a not particularly wise decision he had made, but not at all. “Mr. Chapron, I have a question to ask you concerning the Barcelona match,” he said, addressing me. Could you please explain the referee’s rulings to me.


Being a referee requires you to work as a team. I told Unai Emery a falsehood when I claimed that I had not watched the game.

He would have wanted to hear it, but this was not the moment. So I didn’t. We are human and we make mistakes, he told Canal +, as reported by MARCA. “Today, five years later, I can say it, and perhaps, once retired, it is easier to say that,” he said.


Tony Chapron continued by explaining why UEFA specifically is to blame for a large portion of the problem.

For UEFA, the outcome of the first leg implied that the match would be easy for the referee to handle, a sort of “test” without any danger. The body appointed Benjamin Brand as a second referee and a referee with limited prior experience at the first level, respectively, for the occasion.

He had no business being there. The additional referee worried after making his initial call. When it was 1-0, the first thing he did was turn to face the other assistant to determine whether or not to grant the goal.

The former official also emphasized how Brand’s lack of expertise cost the French powerhouses when Barcelona was wrongfully given a penalty after Neymar was tackled in the box.

He is the one who is the furthest away, the least experienced, the one who shouldn’t be officiating at this level, and the one who changed the course of the match. While being surrounded by Barcelona players, he went to speak to the referee.

It really was a disaster. Due to this error, when the referee lost his cool in such a crucial situation, PSG lost.

Chapron continued, “With this goal, they assured that the tie would not go into extra time, so Cavani’s 3-1 eased the weight off the referees’ shoulders. When under extreme stress, it is something that is welcomed.

“Another crucial moment occurred in the 85th minute, during a PSG counterattack, when the opposing assistant referee chose not to penalize Di Mara. The assistants’ performance proved a hindrance to Aytekin. Neymar then had a straight free kick, which would radically alter the course of the game.

Chapron persisted in highlighting further game-related errors, all of which were favorable to PSG.

Suárez greatly aids in the simulation, but the 5-1 penalty was not warranted despite the touch. To impose a penalty in this situation, you must be absolutely certain; otherwise, you do not concede it. Be yellow; a whistle causes it to turn red. You can tell that the referee was overtaken by the circumstances in this instance. It’s a lack of clarity.

“If Barcelona had not been categorized in the same manner, the refereeing performance would have been forgotten, but it wasn’t. The unthinkable occurred in the final seconds. It is a situation that we won’t ever encounter again. Aytekin left paradise.

Barcelona’s performance against PSG was heroic, and while they may have had a little luck on the night, it does not diminish that.


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