Gianluca Rocchi has been greatly disturbed by the criticism he received after the much-discussed Champions League match between Chelsea and Ajax more than a year ago. In the spectacle, which ended in 4-4, he sent both Joël Veltman and Daley Blind off the field with red in the same minute.
Ajax lost the lead after red cards
The Italian, who has since stopped whistling, received many hateful reactions afterwards, he says in the documentary published by UEFA. Man in the Middle, in which the role of referees is central.
“We knew it could be a difficult game, but in the field it turned out to be even more difficult than we could have ever imagined”, he reflects on the game of November 5 last year.
“When I read on social media afterwards that I intentionally ruined the game, it is frustrating and it makes me very angry. Maybe I made mistakes, but I never meant to destroy the game. to make.”
“What people say is just not correct. I just step onto the field with respect for the sport, for the players and for the people in the stands. I have never wanted to screw up anything for a second.”
Gianluca Rocchi retired due to his age as a referee. (Photo: ANP)
Ajax was leading at Stamford Bridge last year with 2-4 when in the 68th minute Blind (after a foul on Tammy Abraham) and Veltman (hands) got their second yellow card in one action and had to push in. Moreover, Veltman’s handball resulted in a penalty, which was used by Jorginho. Then the equalizer also fell.
Rocchi was supported by the VAR in his decisions. During a closed referee meeting of UEFA, however, it would have been spoken of an arbitral error, because the game should have been stopped immediately after the violation by Blind.