It is quite sure that nobody would have liked to change with Venâncio Raposo Tomé, who was the fourth official at Wednesday's Champions League clash between SSC Napoli and Borussia Dortmund having almost been "eaten" by BVB coach Jürgen Klopp.
|Pedro Proença sends off Jürgen Klopp (c) abendblatt.de|
BVB defender Neven Subotić had left the field of play to undergo medical treatment. When he wanted to return onto the pitch, he did not get the permission by the fourth official as his bleeding still was not totally stopped. Thus he only returned a minute later than planned and just arrived while a pass after a corner kick reached the penalty area and was converted with a header by Gonzalo Higuaín - 1:0 for Napoli. Jürgen Klopp was not amused.
It's always a fine line between emotions and exaggerated outrage or even disrespect. Ignoring that Raposo Tomé had to act in that way and that Klopp actually had no reason to complain (Subotić in fact returned to his position in time), the behaviour of this eccentric coach is a problem. Pushing match officials including the fourth official and confronting them in such an unfilial way is inconsistent with UEFA's Respect Campaign outlined at the stadium as much as possible: with remarks made by the stadium announcer, advertising boards, a patch placed on the jerseys of the referees and a banner that is stretched right at the point where the teams and referees are lining up seconds prior to the Champions League anthem. There is no way to excuse this disrespect during the match. Pedro Proença and Venâncio Raposo Tomé had to send him off and did so. Seconds after his derisive applause, Klopp wanted to shake hands with Raposo Tomé, who however refused to do that. You can sympathize with this reaction (not captured by the video above).
After the match, it was reported that Klopp had apologized for his behaviour and reconciled with Raposo Tomé. That's basically good, nonetheless Klopp should start to think about his role as an idol for many people and his responsibility as a consequence of that. UEFA won't get out of suspending Klopp for at least one Champions League match, that is quite sure. They have to react on disrespect for their match officials and their own respect campaign.