A dubious foul call in the first half of Manchester City's Champions League quarterfinal against Borussia Dortmund prevented the German side from scoring an equalizer against their English foes. Manchester City went on to win the first leg, 2-1. The foul, which was called against Jude Bellingham, was made by Ovidiu Hategan, the same referee who oversaw the Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir Champions League match that was stopped due to allegations of racism on the sideline in December.
During Tuesday's incident, City keeper Ederson attempted to clear a through ball from outside of his box. He popped the ball up before trying to kick it away, but Bellingham was able to get there in time to interrupt the clearance and give himself what appeared to be an easy goal-scoring opportunity. However, before the Dortmund player got a shot off on the empty net, the referee blew his whistle and said that Bellingham had actually fouled the keeper on the play.
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Replays of the incident showed that Bellingham had actually made contact with the ball fully and did not end up fouling the City keeper, but the foul remained nonetheless.
The missed call even got the attention of Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, who is currently recovering from an injury he suffered in January, and resulted in a tweet from the young forward.
This Ref needs checking! 🤦🏽♂️— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) April 6, 2021
Hategan, the referee, is best known for overseeing the Champions League match between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir that was suspended when players walked off the pitch after an incident where the sideline official referred to one of the Basaksehir coaches, Webo, as "that Black one." As players walked off the pitch in solidarity, the referee was overheard saying that protocol for dealing with the issue of whether the game would be restarted was "not up to me."