Scottish whistler Craig Thomson finds himself being public enemy No.1 in Turkey after a bizarre decision in Besiktas’ final Champions League encounter away to Dynamo Kiev.
Besiktas needed a victory and for Benfica to lose against Napoli, which they did, to qualify for the knockout stages, but their chances were all but done on 30 minutes when Thomson made the penalty call that enraged the away side.
Already losing 1-0, Besiktas were reduced to ten men when Andreas Beck was whistled for tripping Derlis González in the penalty area, with the German adjudged not to have made an honest attempt to play the ball.
The problem with the decision was that Gonzalez had instigated contact with a shoulder barge that knocked Beck off balance, causing him to fall and catch Gonzalez as he went to ground.
Andriy Yarmolenko tucked away the penalty and Besiktas soon lost their heads, losing a further two goals before half-time and then seeing Vincent Paté Aboubakar sent off for booting the ball away, while already on a yellow, 14 minutes into the second period.
Kiev would pile on the misery and eventually win 6-0. Besiktas’ Spanish goalkeeper Fabricio even started crying after conceding the fourth goal.
Across Europe, onlookers were baffled with Thomson’s penalty call.
A Turkish website described Thomson as playing against “Besiktas as the 12th man of Dynamo Kiev”. The article included the headline ‘Besiktas 0 - 6 Craig Thomson’.
Former Italian referee Graziano Cesari gave a blunt assessment, saying: “Craig Thomson is always a disastrous referee.”
Someone even tweeted: “William Wallace would shame on you!!! Craig Thomson.”