UEFA Drops Referee Kovacs For His Influence On AC Milan Win Over Napoli

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UEFA has reportedly dropped referee Istvan Kovacs from European matches for the rest of this season after his controversial decisions in AC Milan’s Champions League victory over Napoli.

UEFA dropped Istvan Kovacs
Istvan Kovacs

Referee’s decisions most times can make or mar a match, that’s why all officials were admonished to be reasonable in their rulings and adhere to rules of conduct.

According to Italian journalist Luca Cerchione’s report, UEFA has decided that Istvan Kovacs will not officiate any more European matches for the rest of this season following his influence in AC Milan’s win over Napoli.

The UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash between the two Italian sides, AC Milan and Napoli was a tense affair that was disrupted by several divisive decisions made by the 38-year-old Romanian referee, Istvan Kovacs.

Rafael Leao of AC Milan was not booked for destroying the corner flag with an irritable kick.

André-Frank Zambo Anguissa was red-carded and sent off after picking up two yellow cards and Kim Min-Jae was ruled out of the second leg after an arguably soft booking.

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AC Milan also felt disappointed and was unhappy with some missed penalty calls.

The 38-year-old Roman referee had officiated four Champions League matches this season before the Milan-Napoli clash, including Real Madrid’s 5-2 triumph over Liverpool in the Round of 16.

Roman Referee Istvan Kovacs

Referee Istvan Kovács, who has dual Romanian-Hungarian nationality, has been professionally officiating matches since 2007 and gained his FIFA license in 2010.

Kovacs officiated his first game, the Romanian SuperLiga match between Politehnica Timisoara and Pandurii Targu Jiu in August 2007; being the first of 17 league games that he administered that season.

Kovacs International career

The 38-year-old Romanian was handed his first international job in May 2010 in a friendly match between Italy and Northern Ireland at the Under-19 level.

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But his first senior game didn’t come until three years later when he whistled the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Latvia and Liechtenstein in October 2012.

UEFA dropped Istvan Kovacs

Istvan Kovács has been in charge of four major finals in his career so far.

His first final was the Cupa Romaniei final match between Voluntari and Astra Giurgiu in May 2016 followed by the Supercupa Romaniei a couple of months later.

Kovac was assigned to be in charge of the inaugural UEFA Conference League final between AS Roma and Feyenoord in May 2021 and more recently, he officiated the Arabian Gulf Cup final in which Iraq defeated Oman 3-2.

The Romanian was selected for the 2022 World Cup but did not referee any match at the Qatar tournament, acting as the fourth official in eight games

Istvan Kovacs’ ruling figures

The Roman referee Kovács is recognized for being a mild referee although he has no hardship about affirming his authority when things get out of hand.

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UEFA dropped Istvan Kovacs

In 471 matches he has officiated so far, Kovacs has dished out 2482 bookings and sent 167 players off and 78 of those were straight red cards, being the majority in the Romanian league.

The 38-year-old referee has awarded a total of 150 penalties in all appearances.

The AC Milan vs Napoli clash will be his fifth game in this edition of the Champions League.

He officiated three group stage matches (Dinamo Zagreb-Chelsea, Club Brugge-Atlético, and Bayer Leverkusen-Porto) as well as the Last 16 first leg between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

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