By Chris Wright
Allow us to set the scene: title-chasing Lanus are trailing 2-1 at home to Arsenal in the Argentinian top flight and are pushing hard for an equaliser.
Thankfully, the referee on duty sees fit to tack an extra five minutes of injury time (more on that later) onto the end of the game, allowing Lanus just enough leeway to ram an equaliser home in the 95th minute.
However, the game ended with the Argentinian FA (AFA) suspending referee Andres Merlos indefinitely – read on…
With the allotted stoppage time close to expiring and the scores locked at 2-2, Arsenal went on to score again in the 94th minute to put themselves back into the lead, only to see their perfectly good goal wrongly scrubbed for offside.
Almost inevitably, Lanus then went on to score a winning goal of their own in the ninth and final minute of injury time, despite Silvio Romero appearing to handle the ball in the build-up to Lautaro Acosta’s dramatic winner – and what an absolute beauty it was too…
Unsurprisingly the fact that Lanus scored the winner after a full four minutes of extra injury time had been played resulted in referee Merlos requiring a police escort from the pitch after irate Arsenal coach Martin Palermo and his players swarmed around the official demanding an explanation.
Ablaze with righteous indignation, Arsenal club president Julio Grondona (son of the late AFA president of the same name) ranted after the game that he also plans to lodge an official complaint after noticing that referee Merlos failed to officially restart the game after Lanus’ 99th-minute winner.
“We’ll make a legal presentation because after the third goal there wasn’t a kick-off in the centre,” Grondona told local radio station America.
“There is a precedent in a match between Huracan Corrientes and River (in 1996) … when the disciplinary tribunal modified the result.
“FIFA’s rules say I’m right.”
Elsewhere, the AFA confirmed via a brief statement on their official website that Merlos has since been “suspended for an indeterminate time.”
It’s probably for the best, we reckon.