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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger slams Uefa referee system

Arsene Wenger
Wenger has seen his side lose four of their last six matches

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has branded Uefa's five-official system "useless" after his side were denied a penalty in defeat by Braga on Tuesday.

With the score at 0-0, Arsenal forward Carlos Vela was booked for diving after appearing to be fouled in the box.

Wenger, who believes the decision was a "turning point" in his side's 2-0 loss, said: "We have another proof that it is absolutely useless, this system."

The Frenchman claimed several fouls on Emmanuel Eboue went unpunished.

Wenger was dismayed by the inability of the five officials to award a spot-kick after Alberto Rodriguez slid in on Vela with 13 minutes left.


Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai instead summoned the Mexican to his feet before booking him for simulation.

"It is difficult to understand how we did not get a penalty," added Wenger. "The five referees is not an answer to the problem.

"The turning point was the penalty - I still cannot understand how Vela got a yellow card. It remains a complete mystery.

"The referee gave some surprising decisions tonight. It is hard to swallow."

Eboue was off the pitch receiving treatment following a heavy challenge when Matheus struck Braga's 83rd-minute opener.

Brazilian Matheus rounded off an injury-time counter-attack to double Braga's winning margin with the Ivory Coast right-back forced off with knee ligament damage.

Arsenal require victory in their final match against Partizan Belgrade to guarantee progress to the knockout stages.

Partizan, who lead their domestic championship but have lost all five of their matches in Group H, visit the Emirates stadium on 8 December.

Jadson of Shakhtar Donetsk
Jadson's goal helped Shakhtar Donetsk to a 3-0 win over Partizan

Should Arsenal fail to win, they must match the result Braga achieve in their final match, away to group leaders Shakhtar Donetsk, to advance.

"Now we have to win our last game. The most important thing for us now is to qualify," said Wenger.

"It is good that Shakhtar play against Braga, but Shakhtar are the super favourites to win the group."

The five-official system, which adds an extra assistant behind each goal, was extended to the Champions League in May after a trial in last season's Europa League.

It had previously been tried at youth level and is also in operation in Euro 2012 qualifiers.

The possibility that technology may eventually be used to help officials with goal-line decisions was revived in October.

The International Football Association Board had initially rejected calls to introduce any external system in March.

However, after the World Cup, during which Uruguayan official Jorge Larrionda failed to award England a clear goal in defeat to Germany, it agreed to consider systems that could offer almost instant clarification on whether a goal had been scored.

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see also
Braga 2-0 Arsenal
23 Nov 10 |  Europe
Arsenal suffer double injury blow
25 Nov 10 |  Arsenal
Five-official trial to continue
27 May 10 |  Europe
Goal-line calls 'must be instant'
20 Oct 10 |  Football
Goal-line technology idea dropped
06 Mar 10 |  Football
Uefa chief backs extra officials
28 Feb 09 |  Football
Uefa backs penalty box officials
17 Jan 08 |  Football

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