The controversial Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson will officiate Manchester United’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg tie against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
It will be Eriksson’s first Champions League tie since Manchester City’s 2-0 home defeat to Barcelona in February, when he sent off Martin Demichelis and awarded the Spanish champions a penalty, which Lionel Messi scored.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini was subsequently given a two-match touchline ban by UEFA for his postmatch comments about Eriksson.
The Chilean said then: “I felt the referee was not impartial to both teams. The referee decided the game.
“He did not have any control of the game. He decided for Barcelona from the beginning to the end. I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in such an important match.”
While Pellegrini subsequently backed down and apologised to Eriksson, UEFA and the people of Sweden for suggesting the official was biased, European football’s governing body have shown their faith in him.
The 40-year-old refereed Bayern’s Super Cup win over Chelsea in August, when he showed nine yellow cards and dismissed Ramires, and he has not overseen a United game before.
Bayern were unhappy with Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo’s performance in the first leg, in particular his decision to dismiss Bastian Schweinsteiger after allowing United’s Antonio Valencia to escape a second yellow card, with sporting director Mathias Sammer suggesting he was guilty of double standards.