Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal are filthy over last weekend’s 0-0 draw in Riyadh and subsequent Asian Champions League loss to the Western Sydney Wanderers, and are demanding an investigation into what the club believes to have been some consistently blind refereeing.
Al Hilal released a statement on Monday following a 1-0 loss in Sydney and the 0-0 draw in Riyadh, claiming referees missed an “explicit” six penalties. The news comes after pint-sized striker Nasser Al-Shamrani landed a final-minute headbutt on Matthew Spiranovic, later spitting on Wanderers defender and starting off a post-match shoving war.
“Al Hilal Club’s Board of Directors demand the President and members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to open a formal investigation through all the official and legal channels with all the relevant authorities in the Confederation,” the club said.
“A number of mistakes from the referees that affected Al Hilal team and wasted the players’ rights in getting six penalties, including two explicit penalties in the first leg; and four in the second leg.”
The club also targeted the appointment of Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura, who waved off potential game-saving decisions either side of the halftime break.
“Also it is surprising to appoint a referee for the second leg who was deported from refereeing in the last World Cup as a result of his mistakes during the tournament … which proves that appointing him as a referee for the match is a big mistake that requires investigation and causes punishment.”
2,000 supporters were on hand at Sydney Airport on Monday night to welcome home the new kings of Asian football, waiting several hours for the team and the 14 travelling fans to pass through customs.
“We could hear them pretty much when our bags were coming out [inside the terminal]. We knew it was going to be big – we were getting pictures, messages, videos, so we knew what was going to be out here was unbelievable,” tournament MVP Ante Covic said.
“You think back and wonder if this could ever happen in Australian football. It’s just a credit to the game, it’s the best feeling a football player in Australia could have right now. This moment, right now, is brilliant.”
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