Referee Danny Makkelie will be under intense scrutiny in Spain as he takes charge of Real Madrid vs Chelsea after newspaper Marca told UEFA to ‘play fair’.
Following Madrid’s role in the failed European Super League plot, led by president Florentino Perez, the Spanish press are already suggesting the La Liga giants could be victimised in tonight’s Champions League semi-final – live on talkSPORT.
Makkelie’s pictured appeared on Marca’s front page today over the headline ‘Fair Play, Ceferin’, in a clear message to UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin – who has expressed anger over the Super League proposal.
Dutch official Makkelie has only overseen one Madrid match and did not cause any controversy, making claims of potential bias totally unsubstantiated, while Marca admitted inside their paper that the 38-year-old is an ‘elite’ referee.
However, Spanish football show El Chringuito went the whole way in suggesting a UEFA plot to hurt Madrid’s chance of Champions League glory.
“How are we not going to think bad of Ceferin? How are we not going to doubt after the threats of Ceferin?” its midday show asked on Monday.
“You will have all seen the scandal of Paris [women’s match between PSG and Barca on Sunday]. Did you see the way the Barca players were robbed? Do you all think it’s a coincidence that PSG benefited from that – three penalties, two of them scandalous?
“And tomorrow [Tuesday] Real Madrid v Chelsea – have you mentally prepared? Have you taken it onboard?
“Let the Real Madrid players prepare themselves. They should make sure they are careful. They will have to play the perfect game. But perhaps that will not be enough.”
Not only does Makkelie have no history of upsetting Madrid or favouring Chelsea, it’s also worth pointing out that the Blues were also one of the 12 clubs who agreed to join the Super League.
It didn’t stop the Spanish press putting their conspiracy theories to both Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane on Monday.
“I trust 100% in the referee,” said Tuchel. “I do not imagine that there is any advantage or disadvantage because of a sports political discussion. I don’t even want to think about it, because it does not exist in my eyes.”
Meanwhile, Zidane said: “The referee will do his job, as always, and we just think about playing football, nothing else.”