Referee who was caught up in racism storm to take charge of Celtic’s clash at Barcelona



A referee who was caught up in a racism storm will handle Celtic’s daunting trip to Barcelona in Tuedsay’s opening Champions League Group C clash.

Romanian official Ovidiu Hategan came in for scathing criticism of his handling of Manchester City’s European tie at Russian side CSKA Moscow in 2013, with anti-racism body Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley saying: “The referee should not be refereeing again.”


The 36-year-old was accused of not following UEFA protocol when City midfielder Yaya Toure complained of alleged monkey chants by CSKA fans during the match.

UEFA guidelines state that Hategan should have stopped the match and asked for an announcement to be made urging fans to stop such racist behaviour.

A subsequent UEFA investigation cleared Hategan of any wrongdoing regarding the incident.

Ireland fans were also furious with Hategan during their crucial Group E victory over Italy at Euro 2016 when the official refused to award a penalty to James McClean for what appeared to be a blatant foul by Italy’s Federico Bernardeschi.

The Romanian, who is not short of Champions League group stage experience, also handled Poland’s victory over Northern Ireland in France and oversaw Brazil’s Olympic Games semi-final victory over Honduras last month.