Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has admitted to awarding a penalty in a Champions League final to give “balance back” after an earlier decision.
The 46-year-old was the man in the middle for the 2016 clash between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid at the San Siro.
Over five years on, he claims Diego Simeone’s side were given a spot kick after he wrongly allowed an offside goal from Sergio Ramos.
Speaking on the Brazilian Shirt Name Podcast, he said: “When the ball gets delivered in from the free-kick, I knew there was a touch by Gareth Bale in the middle, which then put Ramos in, who scored the goal.
“I spoke to the assistant (Simon Beck) and it was very difficult because of the noise. But I’m screaming down the earpiece saying, ‘Do you know there was a touch in the middle?’
“He just froze, and I could see him looking at the big screen. I’m screaming at him, and I restart play, and he’s completely frozen. When you watch it back it’s a difficult decision to make of course, but one that I would expect my assistant to make.
“I was very fortunate in this final. Two or three minutes after half-time I’m presented with a really 50/50 penalty. (Fernando) Torres was very clever getting in front of Pepe to draw a foul. Is it a foul? It’s very subjective.
“It’s one that you wouldn’t want to settle the game on that’s for sure. And I gave it because it gives a balance back. It was one of those perfect scenarios in refereeing.”
Antoine Griezmann stepped up to take the subsequent penalty but smashed it against the crossbar.
Clattenburg admits he was relieved by how the whole situation played out.
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He said: “I just thought, ‘Wow, this is my day. This is the perfect day in refereeing.’ I’m thinking, ‘Now they can’t blame me.’”
Atletico Madrid did eventually pull a goal back, as Yannick Carrasco equalised in the 79th minute, taking the game to extra time.
The final ended being decided with a penalty shootout, with Real Madrid coming out on top against their city rivals.
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