With his team drawing 0-0 against city rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinals match, Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez has come and criticized what he called a “very bad” referee in the person of Milorad Mazic.

“The referee is very bad, it is not right for a Serbian to do this type of game, Champions League quarterfinals,” Suarez said in an interview. “It is not serious.  I hope the return game it is better, with more normal decisions. The referee was not at the level of the game, they make mistakes, and we do too. It was an even game, we know each other very well, and it is open.”

During the Tuesday match, Mazic booked three players from Atletico’s side and two from Real’s. However, the referee did not hand out cards in the two most controversial moments of the game: first, when Atletico forward Mario Mandzukic ended up being bloodied after be4ing hit in the face by Sergio Ramos’ arm, then when Mandzukic  was again involved, apparently being bitten in the arm and punched in the stomach by the Whites’ Dani Carvajal.

Carvajal later denied that he bit Mandzukic. “I saw after the game that I’m accused of biting an opposing player. Let me make clear that I have not bitten anyone, or attempted to do so,” the right back said in his Twitter account.

After his statement went public, Suarez clarified his remarks via Twitter:

“I apologise if anyone was offended by my comments after the game, that was not my intention. I wanted to state that a referee from one of the big leagues should be designated to games of this size. Nothing else, we all make mistakes. Now back to work.”\

Suarez’ teammate Joao Miranda also questioned the capability of the officiating team. “I am not going to talk about the referee, but I believe an official from a smaller league should not do these type of games,” he said.

Real’s captain Iker Casillas offered a differing view. “For me [Mazic’s] performance was fine,” he said said. “He could have been a bit stricter but I think he was fair to both sides. We competed with intensity. The referee was not the central figure in the game.”

Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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