THE Slovenian referee dubbed ‘weak’ by Jose Mourinho and ‘a disgrace’ by Arsene Wenger will take charge of Celtic’s crunch Europa League clash against Zenit St Petersburg.

The 41-year-old felt the wrath of Mourinho in 2015 following his failure to award Chelsea a penalty during a Champions League fixture against Dynamo Kiev which ended 0-0.

Mourinho fumed “the referee was weak and naive, it was a big penalty,” before comparing Skomina’s error with that of Rugby official Craig Joubert, who infamously cost Scotland a semi-final place in 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Wenger was similarly enraged in March 2012 after Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League 4-3 on aggregate against AC Milan.

Seeking to overturn a 4-0 deficit from the first-leg in Italy, the Gunners won 3-0 at the Emirates but the veteran French boss was left seething with the number of free-kicks awarded to the Italians and the fact Skomina only played three minutes of injury time.

Wenger confronted the whistler in the tunnel and reportedly branded him “a disgrace”, earning a three-match ban and a £33,000 fine by Uefa.

Nevertheless, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers will be hopeful that Skomina’s appointment proves to be a lucky omen, given the only other time he has officiated a game involving a Scottish club was the Hoops’ thrilling 5-2 win over Hapoel Beer Sheva in last season’s Champions League playoff round. He was also the man in the middle as Scotland defeated Lithuania 3-1 at Hampden during the ultimately failed Euro 2008 qualification campaign.

Despite courting controversy, Skomina is considered one of Uefa’s top officials and has taken charge of a swathe of high-profile fixtures, most notably last season’s Europa League final which saw Manchester United defeat Ajax in Stockholm.

He has also overseen a Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Manchester City at the Bernabeu and the Euro 2016 quarter-final which saw Wales claim a historic triumph over Belgium to reach the last-four in France.

HeraldScotland | Sport

Shotgun murder of Belfast man Ray Johnston in front of children stuns community
JRR Tolkien Middle Earth lovers feature in new exhibition

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
More in Scotland-Sports
Rodgers urges his defenders to stay switched on ahead of Zenit tie
Close