Last week it was all about Freddie Sears’ “goal that never was” for Crystal Palace at Bristol CIty. Seven days later a second refereeing calamity looks to have jumped to the top of the pile of amateurish officialdom as Assaf Keinan, a UEFA licensed Israeli referee, made a complete and utter balls-up of a goal decision during Saturday night’s match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Bnei Sachnin.
We pick up the action ten minutes from time with Maccabi (in yellow) leading Sachnin (in red) 2-1.
Looking to kill off the game, Tel Aviv thought they had put the match to bed when Guillermo Israelevich played a one-two with Ilya Yavruyan, with the number seven running through to lift the ball over the stranded Sachnin keeper.
Cue the controversy.
As Yavruyan wheeled away in celebration, the fourth official notified referee Assaf Keinan - who is on UEFA books as being eligible to take charge of Champions League and Europa League matches - that the midfielder had been in an offside position during the build-up.
Rejecting his fourth official at the first instance, Keinan plainly signalled that the goal should stand, despite the protestations from Sachnin. Seconds later, the man in black reneged on his initial position to signal that the goal had in fact been overruled.
With common sense falling by the wayside, referee Keinan then amazingly changed his mind for a third time by then signalling that the goal was now valid.
Unsurprisingly, having offended both the Tel Aviv and Sachnin teams by his unclear and contradictory decisions, all hell broke loose as the match was held up for several minutes with several Sachnin players goin so far as to threaten to walk off the pitch in protest.
And then came the final twist. After once again consulting with his fellow officials, Keinan decided the make his final decision by ruling the goal out for offside.
The decision ultimately appeared to be the right one, even though Keinan seemed to be influenced by some fierce Sakhnin protests.
With tension in the air, Maccabi managed to compose itself and wrapped up the win the match 3-1 in injury time, when Shiran Yeini headed in a Shivhon corner.
The shameful incident can be seen in full here.