Chelsea’s UEFA Conspiracy Claims Are Laughable

With their typical class, Chelsea players and staff asserted their belief, following their 1-1 agg defeat to Barcelona, that UEFA conspired against them to prevent an all-English final in the Champions League.

Players, such as Didier Drogba, displayed their sentiment by all but physically assaulting the referee as he left the pitch. Manager Guus Hiddink took a more measured tone in the subsequent press conference, but offered much the same sentiment.

“Conspiracy is a very tough word and you have to prove it,” Hiddink said. “I don’t want to go with that tough word. It was said in the build-up that it would be nice to have a repetition of last year’s final, but I can only say what I see.

“I cannot say if Uefa would not like another all-English final. What I’m sure about that, in big games like this, you need top-notch referees. Players make many mistakes, coaches makes mistakes and referees can make mistakes. But if you have seen three or four situations waved away, then it’s the worst I have seen. At this moment I’d have to think a lot if I have seen worse.”

It may have been better for UEFA business had Barcelona won, but that alone does not justify a conspiracy claim. If UEFA had conspired to fix this match, they did perhaps the worst job in the history of conspiracy.

UEFA so pressured the referee for a Barca victory at the Camp Nou that he ignored a blatant Chelsea penalty committed against Thierry Henry, booked Carles Puyol rashly causing him to miss the second and leg and sent off neither Michael Ballack nor Alex when he easily could have.

The anti-English junta flexed it’s influencing muscle even further in the second leg when Eric Abidal received a red card for being in the vicinity when Nicolas Anelka tripped over his own feet, forcing Barcelona to play with ten. Claims that UEFA was fixing the match for Chelsea are absurd.

Moreover, most of the Chelsea penalty claims in the second leg were specious.

For Alves’ foul on Malouda, the foul began outside the area and was only given at all because Malouda hurled himself to the ground against physics. Abidal’s miniscule touch on Drogba was followed by a blatant, delayed dive. Toure’s foul on Drogba, if he committed one, was outside the box. He tackled fairly in the box.

Pique’s handball, perhaps, was a penalty. But, the call was a mistake and hardly conspiracy. The referee had a shocker, but both teams had to live with him, not merely Chelsea.

Chelsea played to score one goal over two legs. They deployed 11 men in Barcelona purely to kick and stifle the opposition, forgoing an away goal. The played defensively once they went 1-0 up at Stamford Bridge, pulling off Drogba for defense, despite facing ten men.

Scoring goals and preventing the other team from scoring, not referees, decides football matches. Chelsea’s negative tactics left defeat plausible. Andres Iniesta snatched an opportunity. Conspiracy did not fell Chelsea. It was karma.

30 thoughts on “Chelsea’s UEFA Conspiracy Claims Are Laughable”

  1. you my friend are a laughable writer who even in this vain attempt to jump on the anti Chelsea bandwagon, couldnt even be bothered to find out the name of the uefa hitman that did what your so called top team in europe couldnt, put Chelsea singlehandedly out of the champions league, the ref was not wolfgang stark. IDIOT springs to mind.

  2. haha pathetic article by an even more pathetic writer. can’t spell worth s**t can you idiot. you know jack s**t about the game too. dont bother writing next time.

  3. lol wolfgang stark?

    epltalk wtf guys you publish so many great articles on a weekly basis without a single hint of bias and then you publish misinformed pieces of crap like this?

    Do I have to get on my knees and beg you guys not to do this to a fantastic blog?

    Please guys no more misinformed, biased flamebait crap. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

    I know a little controversy can drive up the traffic for a small while but the long term result is going to be a lot of people leaving a blog that they think will publish anything to get a read or two and this blog puts forward way too much good content to be passed off as some attention seeking POS.

    Please guys well informed, well edited and not flamebait articles.

    This article is in dire need of a editor and the information is completely wrong. Wolfgang Stark?!? I’d recommend you guys at least correct the misinformation and get the referee name wrong or better yet delete this piece of crap before more people show up and marvel at the sheer stupidity of this post.

  4. most biased writing ever. you call henry’s dive in the box in the first leg a “blatant penalty”, yet when drogba is pulled and hacked by abidal it is a dive. then you go on to embarrass yourself and really prove your inadequate knowledge of the game when you claim that puyol was harshly booked in the first leg. that tackle was atrocious and easily could have been a red. i do agree that ballack’s bad tackle in the first leg could have warranted a red card, but i am able to say that because i’m educated, and not a f**king pathetic, biased piece of s**t like yourself

  5. The worst part of articles like this or a lot of the comments I have read about the game is the excusing of the fact that the game was horribly officiated because it was Chelsea and/or they played a defensive game that limited the prettiness of Barcelona.

    I’m not a fan of either team, so I can take an objective viewpoint when I watch the match and look back and have an opinion on how the game was called. And if I walk away from the game feeling like I was cheated as a viewer, that’s when the sport has to realize there is a serious problem.

    As an American who prefers football from anywhere but his own country, this match reminded me of the exact reason why I turned away from American sports. Most specifically the NBA, where you can spend 3 hours watching a game and then have the officials decide the outcome in the end…well that’s not for me.

    And that’s exactly how I felt watching this game. It didn’t matter to me who won, just that I got to see who the better team was based on their team performances. I didn’t get that, nor did the fans who paid to see the game, who pay for the channels to watch the match, etc.

  6. If (and it’s a big if) there is a fix, I doubt very seriously UEFA would be involved. Most fixes involve Russian mobsters or Far-Eastern betting syndicates.

  7. Chris, if this writer isn’t fired for being insanely biased and overcritical of Chelsea football club I’m never coming back to epl talk again.

  8. Everyone agrees the officiating was piss poor. If either team lost they could easily blame it on several decisions by the referee. The manner that chelsea lost left them feeling cheated in every way possible, they did only tie. Chelsea still had several chances to put the game away in the first half and they didn’t. Even with barcelona down to ten they didn’t seem to have the game in hand. Chelsea played to eek out a win near the end and they couldn’t. They played with fire and got burned.

    I found both semifinal’s to be extremely poor matches. Chelsea and barcelona was an exciting finish but neither leg was a treat to watch. Arsenal and Manu was pitiful as well with arsenal dearly missing their first choice defense and Manchester clearly maintaining their status as champions of f**king everything.

    Lets hope for a better and more intriguing final!

  9. Tim Lovejoy on 606 is the worst, most unprofessional host ever. I could not believe the rubbish he spewed on the show after the Chelsea match. And it’s clear he never watches international football. This is the same guy who said England had the best team in the Europe after beating Russia in Euro qualifying, and also now will win the world cup after beating Croatia. He implied that Barca would finish 5th in the Premier League. What I believe is that the PL drops off incredibly after the 4th team. Werder Bremen is 11th in Germany while Wigan is 11th in England. If they played, wanna bet on who’d win regardless of venue?

  10. Anyone who thinks UEFA fixed the match needs to seriously have their head examined. Yes, as the author pointed out, the referee had a shocker, but, as the author also pointed out, it went both ways. The fact that many are overlooking that and excusing the unforgivable actions of the likes of Ballack and Drogba is laughable.

    Drogba’s disgrace comments should have been directed at himself and all his diving.

    Moreover, does Drogba mean Lazarus in French? I mean, how was a man, who came off because he was supposedly injured, able to chase after the referee after the match as if he was at the peak of his fitness?

  11. Tyler is expressing his opinions regarding what happened during the game and what he felt about Hiddink’s reaction from the press conference. Many of the points made here have been made in mainstream media outlets, so I fail to see what the fuss is all about.

    I listened to Tim Lovejoy’s 606 broadcast after the Chelsea match and thought the same things as you Kartik. The funniest part of the segment was the caller from Newport who called Lovejoy a disgrace. While the caller from Newport had a tough time controlling his anger and articulating himself, Lovejoy was quite pompous in his reply.

    The Gaffer

  12. Why don’t Chelsea fans direct their anger at Drogba? He made more mistakes in both legs than the referee and nobody send him dead threats or any other unpleasantries. Not to mention that he makes more money than the referee. He is the one who is a f*** disgrace.

  13. as an unbiased fan of chelsea and barcelona, i say the ref should never work at the high level again. i’d take the terrible enlish refs over this guy any day. any ref that refuses to punish cheating on both chelsea and barcelona’s side should be fired. chelsea deserved two penalties. barca one. drogba deserved a yellow for diving the second time. he deserved a free kick on the edge of the box for abidal man-handling him. the ref was terrible.

  14. Articles like this are making EPL Talk more and more unreadable each and every week. Really sad…The ref screwed both teams, enough said.

    Btw, you guys need editors really badly. The SAF article says Hiddink coached “South Career” instead of KOREA? WTF?!?!?!?!!? Learn to edit and proofread.

  15. I think Ty is spot on with this piece.

    But back to Lovejoy. He claimed Barca beat “the worst Real Madrid team ever” because they were managed by Juan De Ramos who failed in England. Now Martin Jol must have failed by the same Lovejoy standard but I am sure we can agree he is a good manager. Ramos won the League Cup, won the UEFA (TWICE) with Sevilla beating numerous English teams in the process. The same Steve McLaren that Lovejoy berated not long ago as destroying the best team in the world actually has his FC Twente enjoying its best season in generation.

    Now the worst recent Real Madrid team was actually managed by Carlos Quieroz . I could claim in the Loverjoy fashion based on Quieroz’s time in MLS that he is a rubbish manager. But I’d be laughed out of the room by many saying he’s the genius who helped Fergie build this super team at United and just had a bad team in MLS, even though he did have Robert Donadoni and Branco. Those people who laughed at me would have every right to do so.

    Anyhow, the point is Lovejoy ASSUMES based on a few games at Spurs that Ramos is a bad manager so then ASSUMES that Real MAdrid stinks because he manages them totally ignoring his body of work at Sevilla and his League Cup win and then ASSUMES that Barca is no good because they play in a league where a Ramos managed team is in second place and thus ASSUMES they’d be the fifth best team in England, even though England’s league has proven itself to be pathetically weak in the second tier UEFA Cup except when disgraced managers (according to opinionated 606 hosts) like Steve McLaren and Gerard Houllier manage English clubs.

  16. This piece is spot on, and not just because I’m a Barca fan and soci. Let’s look at the moments of outrage individually, and briefly:

    –Alves bringing Malouda down? Not likely, unless Malouda wants to go down, which he did. He didn’t even have the good sense to fall in the direction of the force applied.

    –Drogba was out-manned by Yaya. It’s as simple as that. If you want to penalize Yaya, he fouled outside the box.

    –Both “handballs” were instances of the ball playing the man, just as Ballack’s was in the first half when he squared off against Messi in the Chelsea box. That little moment has been forgotten, but Ballack, unlike Pique and Eto’o, was facing the play.

    So. If the “conspiracy” was in effect, a free kick wouldn’t have been awarded for the Alves foul, since UEFA knows how bad Barca are on set pieces, a strength of Chelsea. Further, the Ballack handball would have led to a self-righteous point to the penalty spot, ensuring at least one away goal for the “favored side,” and no way in hell is Abidal sent off.

    Instead, let’s just admit that one’s view of the match will be altered by which side you’re on. A friend of mine, a neutral, had an interesting view rooted in American basketball. His supposition was that non-calls are an attempt to let the players decide the match. If Chelsea couldn’t score with a man advantage at home, goes the logic, then they don’t deserve to advance. But why help decide the match by making a borderline call?


    But Chelsea have a big match tomorrow, and an FA Cup final to worry about. The Champions League is done, though it probably isn’t, since the actions of the players after the final whistle, I think we can all agree, were shameful. Some are even calling for a complete ban of Ballack and Drogba from next season’s Champions League.

  17. Chelsea supporters, why is there no talk of all the chances Drogba missed? If he had finished any of his golden opportunities, there would not even be a discussion of the referee. Simply put, if you had a striker who could step up in big matches and do his job, you might actually see silverware.

  18. 606 has and will always remain rubbish. The only host of note is when Gabi Marcotti, everyone else spews the same generic views and the callers all they have to say is ‘(the manager) has to go, (the board) has to go’.

    The conspiracies are laughable. But the fact of the matter is that there were two BLATANT penalties. I do feel sympathy for Chelsea but i find this loving of Man United almost sickening…

    On another note I love it how fans and pundits judge teams and players for that matter on TWO games. Messi was rubbish if you read the English press, the fact of the matter is he set up the crucial goal. For games after games i saw virtually absent Cronaldo season yet when it came to the crucial moment he scored. People ONLY remember goals and assists. Which is why noone remembers how well Messi played against Man United over both legs last season. Because he didnt score and assist pundits and fans deem him as not done it against English opponents and the UCL (which is laughable considering he has the scored the same amount of goals as Cronaldo in 20 less games).

  19. i dont believe in conspiracy theories and as a chelsea fan i will say this both legs were horribly officiated, at best having 2 games with awful referees did not help either team play the kind of football they want.
    Now saying barcelona made a credible threat is laughable, they had what 2 shots on target and unluckily one of them went in, shit happens i guess.
    Chelsea had a plethora of oppurtunities to win the game but were far from clinical on goal. Chelsea were by far the better team during the second leg. Just like barcelona was the better team in the first leg. Simply put chelsea got an early goal, instead of trying to build on that they decided for defense and it backfired, shit happens. Luck plays a massive amount in cup games and chelsea werent as lucky as they were against liverpool.
    In terms of players main person was essien, he scored the goal, his shit clearence started the goal. Barcelona were outplayed over 2 legs and came out with a draw.

  20. Honestly, I’m a Barca fan and even I think we were lucky. This article seems to be written by someone who very much dislikes Chelsea, a Manchester United or Liverpool fan i guess.

    They really did deserve to win and I feel for them. However, we’re in the final so I won’t be ruminating about it for too long.

    Terrible article by the way, I thought this site was good. wtf

  21. Chelsea were robbed. So, either your blind or stupid… Prehaps, you are both. I think both. So, why don’t you go to school and to an optometrist.

    Maybe it wasn’t a conspiracy, but it was daylight robbery with the police just letting it happen.

  22. carefree where ever we may be
    we got robbed on our way to Italy!
    all we needed was 1 of 4 penalties!
    but we had blind, deaf and dumb referees!!

  23. i’m glad chelsea lost (bcuz i had money on them to loss to barcelona) but the were cheated though….united were also cheated when the played chelsea recently…i’m tired of biased referees and blatter who continues to get on my nerves

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