Lyon was able to protest at UEFA after Dutch referee Danny Makkelie has been appointed to lead the Champions League match against Manchester City on Saturday … because a victory for Pep Guardiola will send the Ajax team to next year’s league
- Lyon will take on Manchester City in Saturday’s last eight games of the Champions League
- The Dutch referee Danny Makkelie has been chosen as the match official in Lisbon
- It is claimed that Makkelie cannot be impartial because the result hits the Dutch giants Ajax
- The French side could complain to UEFA about the appointment in Makkelie
- The 37-year-old was the VAR referee for the 2018 World Cup final in Russia
French club Lyon can complain about the choice of the referee for the crucial quarter-final of the Champions League against Manchester City on Saturday.
Dutch official Danny Makkelie has been appointed as the man in the middle for the Lisbon game, but there are concerns that the 37-year-old may not be impartial.
A win for Manchester City would see Dutch giants Ajax reach the group stage of the Champions League next season, which is worth around £ 13.5 million in prize money.
Danny Makkelie (right) has been chosen to be the referee for the match between Lyon and Manchester City this week
The French side Lyon may complain about the decision, as there are claims that Makkelie is not impartial
However, if Lyon make it to the semifinals, Ajax would compete in the 2020-21 league in the play-off round, which they would have to win to qualify for the Champions League itself.
Ajax is one of only two Dutch teams that will be able to play in Europe’s main club competition next season and allegations are surfacing as to whether Makkelie is the right man to lead a match that affects a team in his country. .
Former Dutch referee Dick Jol told De Telegraaf: ‘UEFA should not have put Danny Makkelie in this position. Never!
Can you imagine the French newspapers? They’re going to hand out that he takes charge of the game before a ball is kicked.
A Manchester City victory means Dutch Ajax (above) will qualify for next season’s group stage
If Lyon wins, Ajax will have to undergo a play-off before it reaches the Champions League
Financially – and sportingly – there is so much at stake in this game. Makkelie is not to blame. I do not doubt his integrity for a second.
“ He has a huge reputation at UEFA and is making a great international career, but what happens if he gives City a penalty late in the game? If City wins, fingers are pointed at him. ‘
Makkelie, who was a police officer before becoming a football referee, was the VAR official for the 2018 World Cup final in Russia.
Makkelie was the VAR referee for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final in Russia
Lyon will take on Manchester City in the quarter finals of the Champions League on Saturday evening
It is not the first time that the impartiality of a Dutch referee has been questioned in the European competition.
John Blankenstein was appointed as the official for the 1994 Champions League final between AC Milan and Barcelona, who were coached by Johan Cruyff and had Ronald Koeman on their side.
AC Milan eventually won the final 4-0, but the build-up of the match was filled with question marks over the decision to appoint Blankenstein as official.
Jol added: “Milan was very angry in 1994 because of the presence of Cruijff and Koeman.”
“I would think there is the same atmosphere in Lyon now.”