A closely fought encounter ended in a share of the spoils in Teplice, but the match continued to generate heated reactions long after the final whistle was blown
Czech Republic referee Tomáš Klíma has been in the eye of the storm since he refused to award a penalty against Slavia Prague following a handball incident involving Nigerian centre-back Igoh Ogbu.
Signed from Lillestroem during the January transfer window, Igoh Ogbu made his second appearance for Slavia Prague in their 1-1 draw away to Teplice on Saturday.
League leaders Slavia were far from their best at the AGC Aréna Na Stínadlech and fell behind to their relegation-threatened hosts after only three minutes.
The Slavists laboured in vain for 74 minutes – even missing a 60th-minute penalty – before their equaliser arrived from the penalty spot.
But referee Tomáš Klíma, having awarded Slavia two penalties, refused to point to the spot when Teplice had a penalty shout of their own.
While attempting a sliding tackle, Ogbu’s hand struck the ball before it trickled out of play. The referee blew instead for a corner kick, a decision further backed by the VAR assistant.
Penalta?🤔 pic.twitter.com/dMiavELs8Y— Jakub Martinec (@kuba_martinec) February 18, 2023
However, it has generated heated debate – is it a penalty or not – in the Czech Republic.
Former Sparta Prague and Viktoria Plzeň left-back David Limberský is convinced that the referee not only made a terrible call but he should be banned for life for it.
Viktoria Plzeň and Sparta Prague are two and five points, respectively, behind Slavia Prague on the league table.
What has been said?
As per Teplicky Denik, David Limberský said: “Mr. Klima, you are a liar! You make people look like idiots, but most of them aren’t dumb sheep.
“Your repeated gross mistakes in favour of Slavia are already obvious to all of us. When I simulated a penalty against Sparta in 2012, referee Matějek was banned for life.
“You deserve at least three lifetime bans. I’m curious what punishment you will get.”
Interestingly, a former Slavia Prague star, David Kalivoda, also agrees with David Limberský that Teplice should have been awarded a penalty for an obvious Ogbu handball.
“I support Slavia a little more, but here I have to admit in a sporting way that hand contact is there to see,” David Kalivoda told O2 TV, as per Ruik.
Referee Klíma disagrees
Still, centre-referee Tomáš Klíma insists after the match that he saw the ball hit Ogbu’s hand, but in not giving the home team the penalty, he made the right call, as confirmed by VAR.
“I saw that there was contact between the ball and the hand,” Tomáš Klíma said.
“But I did not evaluate the intervention as a foul because the sliding player (Ogbu) played the ball into the hand with his foot. The video referee confirmed the rebound.”
While Ogbu finished the encounter without a yellow card, his club teammate and Super Eagles winger Peter Olayinka was booked deep into stoppage time.