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Yaya Toure Doubtful of Refereeing Quality Ahead of Manchester Derby

While the FA Cup semifinal between Manchester City and Arsenal left the latter in a buoyant mood, the result left a bitter taste in City’s mouth.

This in the biggest part has been blamed on the inefficiency and unreliability of the day’s referees and has spurred on a critical debate that has recently been doing rounds in the world of football, involving matching officiating methods.

Whereas coaches and influential football-related personalities have previously called for the use of technology, the Manchester Derby to be played this week on Thursday has sparked more fury over referees’ ability to make the right calls especially with critical and heated games in hand.

Yaya Toure does not fall short of this group of critics with the City midfielder enraged over the quality of match officiation, most recently sparked by City’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal.

Thursday’s derby is too important to either team’s table standing and will have a significant impact on either club’s hope of finishing in the top four in an attempt to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I think the referees have to stop this,”[/perfectpullquote]

Toure said.

“Maybe on Thursday we are going to have a better referee or maybe play without a referee – I’d prefer that. It is a very big game. We hope we are going to have a good referee.”

It may sound far-fetched but City’s bad refereeing accusations in Sunday’s 2-1 loss are outlined by claims which from playback, hold some relevant weight.

Toure commended Arsenal’s performance and players and even called the London side the deserving winners.

The downside, however, is that “the big mistake of the referee” influenced an important part of the match.

Sergio Aguero’s first-half goal was disallowed by the match official after his assistant disallowed the strike because Leroy Sane’s cross to the Argentinian was called out of play before reaching the striker. Replays, however, showed that the decision was wrong.

In addition, a challenge by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on Aguero fueled an argument that City deserved a penalty whereas a heavy challenge on David Silva by Gabriel, should have warranted the latter a yellow card.

“It’s always painful, costly when you lose games like this. When you lose fairly – like the game we lost to Monaco (in the Champions League) – it was deserved. But this was quite strange, very sad,” Toure said.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”It’s going to be difficult for me to forget this game because I’m very very angry. You win, you lose. But sometimes it’s difficult when you think how unfair it was.[/perfectpullquote]

“You have to try to accept it, but it’s hard. (Sane’s cross) was definitely in, and it was a penalty (for Aguero), and something more, but what can we do?

“I think the referee has to come (out) now and give their point of view as well. It’s too easy for them. But if you say anything about them, it’s going to be highlighted and the FA is going to come and fine me. At the end of the day, they (the referees) don’t care, but just go.”

Thursday’s match official, Martin Atkinson, has a big task ahead of him centered around his a crucial role many will look to as the day’s officiation will have an impact on the match result.

“If we win, we will forget this game, but if we lose, then it will be more difficult,” Toure said.

“We need to be in the Champions League. City has qualified for the Champions League for six years now and Thursday is very important.”

But City is not the only one weighing in heavily on the derby. Manchester United need a win just as bad as City does.

United go into this week’s game at City’s home – Etihad Stadium – coming from three back-to-back Premier League wins, most notable of all, a 2-0 win over table leaders, Chelsea.



Featured photo: Yaya Toure (C) disputes the referee’s call during the FA Cup semi-final match against Arsenal. (REX)

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