May 3 – It may be clutching at straws but Liverpool fans are drawing up a petition to have Lionel Messi banned from the second leg of the Champions League semi-final with Barcelona.
Supporters believe the Argentine superstar, who single-handedly negated Liverpool’s excellent away performance with two goals in Wednesday 3-0 first-leg win, struck Fabinho around the head in the build-up to his decisive magical 30-yard freekick.
Fabinho was booked for blocking Messi’s run but new camera angles appear to suggest that Messi was the culprit and calls into question whether the freekick should have been awarded.
Fans have now drawn up an online petition they want UEFA to consider entitled: ‘Get Messi a retrospective ban for clearly punching Fabinho in the head.’
Words accompanying the petition read: “So basically Messi gets a free-kick for punching Fabinho in the head and scores it.”
Whether UEFA will take any notice must be highly questionable especially given there have been no official complaints.
Although UEFA have made no comment, no disciplinary proceedings have been opened with regards to the game. Article 9 of UEFA’s disciplinary regulations broadly state that decisions taken by the referee on the field of play are final and may not be reviewed unless there was mistaken identity or serious misconduct that the referee somehow missed.
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