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Ireland-Sweden Referee Was 'The Worst Official At World Cup 2014'

By Paul McNulty
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The referee who will take charge of Ireland's Euro 2016 opener against Sweden on Monday was named "the worst referee at World Cup 2014".

Mirolad Mazic, a 43-year-old Serbian native, was named the worst referee after a poll surveyed 100,000 fans.

In fairness, Mazic officiated two of the most contentious games in the tournament. In his first game - Germany v Portugal - Mazic awarded a penalty to Germany for a dubious foul on Mario Gotze after 12 minutes. 20 minutes later, Mazic further enraged the Portuguese fans by sending Pepe off after he appeared to headbutt Thomas Muller.

The game finished 4-0 to Germany but Portuguese fans were apoplectic and manager Paulo Bento said Mazic appeared to show 'bias'.

Masic's second appearance in Brazil was equally as controversial. He took centre stage for the Argentina-Iran game, which Argentina only won with a stunning goal from Lionel Messi in extra-time.

But Masic came under severe criticism for not awarding the Iranians a penalty after 55 minutes, when Ashkan Dejagah (who was at Fulham at the time) was fouled by Man City full-back Pablo Zabaletta.


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Carlos Queiroz, who was manager of Iran at the time, asked afterwards, "How can this guy sleep tonight, or for the rest of his life?... Why did he do that to us?"

It's not just in international games that Mazic is a controversial figure. He officiated the 2015 Champions League quarter-final first leg between Real and Atletico Madrid. He booked Real's Marcelo and Atletico's Mario Suarez - meaning both would miss the crucial second leg.

Suarez was enraged after the game, saying "the referee is very bad. They can't use a Serbian referee for these type of games, with all my respect. I hope that in the return leg they pick a better referee". (Suarez later had to apologise for his remarks).


Mazic has officiated Ireland once before - taking charge in the 1-0 defeat to Scotland at Celtic Park. He booked four Irish players on the night (Aiden McGeady, Jeff Hendricks, Stephen Quinn and Seamus Coleman) but seemed pretty solid throughout the game (apart from having to tell Roy Keane to behave himself - above).

He also took charge of the second leg UEFA Cup quarter-final between Liverpool and Man Utd (finished 1-1) and the 2-2 draw between Man City and Paris St-Germain in the Champions League quarter-final.


Overall in his international career, Masic has taken charge of 26 games - issuing 81 yellow cards and five reds.

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