By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger has branded the performance of referee Martin Hansson at Porto on Wednesday night as "not competent".
The Swedish official courted controversy when he allowed Falcao to score from a quickly-taken free-kick six minutes into the second half. The goal turned out to be the winner and the incident has hogged the headlines ever since. Speaking at his usual Friday press conference Wenger suggested that Mr Hansson had made a catalogue of mistakes.
"The rule is quite clear," said the Frenchman. "I don't want to go too much into details but he made at least five technical mistakes.
"You cannot give a quick free-kick when the referee is in the middle of the action. When people play quick free-kicks, the referee whistles but he is far from the ball, the guy puts the ball down and plays quickly. If [the ref] is there in the middle, where the free-kick is, he cannot give a [quick] free-kick anymore. He has to make sure the opponent is at nine metres distance and, in that case, the opponent had to be on the goal-line. And, apart from all that, where he gave free-kick in the wrong place.
"I believe he is incompetent or dishonest, so I prefer to believe he is not competent.
"Usually, I trust the referee," Wenger went on. "I never have any bad intention but when I speak with referees, I just wanted to understand why he made so many technical mistakes.
"For example, he missed a 100 per cent penalty on Rosicky. That is a judgement in a second that I can accept but [it is different] once it gets to a technicality and he has made a decision. For me the back pass of Sol Campbell was accidental but he has judged it [deliberate]. OK we have a difference there. OK that I can accept. But, technically, so many mistakes. Where he stands is completely wrong at the moment he gives a free-kick.
"He takes the ball from Lukasz Fabianski. They score. What he does doesn't make common sense and is against the rules of the referees. So when a guy makes so many technical mistakes that is not even linked to judgement, I believe he is not competent."