Ander Herrera and Marco Verratti of Paris Saint Germain alleged that referee Bjorn Kuipers used “F” words on PSG’s players during a UEFA Champions League semi-final match between PSG and Manchester City on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.
Bjorn Kuipers was the center referee in the heated UEFA Champions League match played at the Etihad Stadium last night. One of the defining moments of the game happened in the 69th minute when he had to award PSG’s midfielder Angel Di Maria a red card for his off-the-ball tackle on City midfielder Fernandinho. Before he issued the red card, Manchester City had already scored two goals against PSG.
After the match which ended 2-0 and halted PSG’s journey in the UEFA Champions League campaign 4-1 on aggregate, Herrera claimed that the referee told him to “f**k off” during the game.
Also, his teammate, Verratti claimed that he heard when referee Bjorn Kuipers used abusive words on another PSG player Leandro Paredes.
According to Ander Herrera and Marco Verratti in separate interviews, the incident happened during the time referee Bjorn Kuipers sent off their veteran midfielder Angel Di Maria.
“I think the best thing to do is to take a good look at each other, we were in the race until Di Maria was sent off. At that point we needed a miracle”, Verratti told Sky Sports.
“The only thing I don’t like is when the referee tells you to “f*** off”, we always try to be respectful, but he did that three or four times during the game.
“He started giving yellow cards here and there and we became a little nervous. It’s not his fault. Manchester City deserve to qualify, they have great players. We could have done more in the first leg.
“The referee tonight said f**k off to Leandro Paredes. If we say that we get a 3 or 4 match ban.”
Also, Herrera affirmed Verratti’s claim by admitting that the referee told him to “f**k off” twice during the game. He also admitted that he spoke to the referee but didn’t use abusive words on the Dutch official.
“The referee also told me ‘f*** you’ twice”, Herrera said
“For them, it’s normal if you say that it’s ten matches [ban]. I talk a lot to the referee but I don’t say that.”
While in the post-match press conference, the coach of PSG, Mauricio Pochettino claimed that he didn’t hear what the referee said from the touchline.
He, however, insisted that they would have to believe what Ander Herrera and Marco Verratti said about the referee.
“I didn’t hear anything from the touchline”, Pochettino said. “If something is there and it is how they explain, maybe UEFA will investigate the situation.
“That is not an excuse. The most important is that we’re not in the final, that is why we feel really sad.”
As at the time of publishing this report, the European football governing body, UEFA, was yet to make an official statement concerning the claims of Ander Herrera and Marco Verratti.