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Lennon will demand UEFA ruling after compiling dossier on Spanish referee

Celtic intend to write to UEFA to seek clarification about the decisions made by the referee, Alberto Undiano Mallenco, during last Tuesday night's 3-0 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League.

Celtic will send video evidence from Tuesday night's game to UEFA. Picture:
Celtic will send video evidence from Tuesday night's game to UEFA. Picture:

The club has also prepared a dossier of DVD footage to support their contention that the Italian side's players were regularly committing fouls inside the penalty while defending set-pieces.

Mallenco, a Spaniard with a reputation for being strict and officious, booked Stephan Lichtsteiner and Gary Hooper for wrestling with each other at a corner kick, but the Juve defender continued to manhandle his opponent, and at one stage pulled him over inside the goal. Scott Brown was also impeded at a set-piece when his marker put both arms around him.

"We have DVD footage and we would like someone to give us some answers," Lennon said. "I am compiling it myself, along with the video analysis guys, and writing a letter asking for a ruling. There is always a concern with the referee. But I didn't think he would be as poor as Mallenco was on Tuesday night. I'm not taking anything away from Juventus, as they deserved to win game. But you need to play to the letter of the law.

"We knew what Lichtsteiner would do. We had seen coverage of him beforehand. He is insecure about his defending and we told the guys to flag it up, which they did. They did everything right. The only one who didn't do anything right was the referee. I tried to speak to him at half-time but he was having none of it and waved me away. I spoke to the fourth official on three or four occasions and got no answers. Why the ref didn't do his job is beyond me."

Several high-profile figures in the game were critical about the amount of grappling they were able to get away with. Juventus had studied Celtic's threat from set-pieces and concluded that Hooper standing in front of the goalkeeper was a ploy. The Italians are also thought to have studied Mallenco's officiating. However, Lennon is adamant that fouls were committed, and that his team should have been awarded a penalty while the score was still 1-0 in Juventus's favour. He was also critical of the officials behind the goals, who also did not intervene.

"We played Juventus 12 years ago and the same incidents happened," he said. "We were awarded a penalty which Henrik Larsson scored. What is the difference from 2001 to 2013? I watched the Real Madrid v Man United game [on Wednesday] and there was nothing like that going on. What Juventus did was way beyond the limit of the law in football. This was arms up around players preventing them from forward momentum. You may as well turn the game into a wrestling match.

"I may introduce that to our defending and see what sort of reaction it gets. Why not? I'll say to [Victor] Wanyama, 'just go and put your arms around him and hold him, pull him, drag him, throw him into the goal'. You cannot do it. People [are] saying, 'Well, the Italians have done it for years'. It doesn't make it right. Teams from other countries don't do it. Our view in Britain, and I would say the main part of Europe, is it shouldn't go on."

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