The Barcelona – PSG referee is particularly harsh

It is the Romanian Istvan Kovacs who will be on the whistle for the quarter-final return between FC Barcelona and PSG.

The Barcelona – PSG referee is particularly harsh

It is the Romanian Istvan Kovacs who will be on the whistle for the quarter-final return between FC Barcelona and PSG.

Paris Saint-Germain will have to seek qualification for the semi-final of the Champions League on Barcelona soil. Beaten 3 goals to 2 at the Parc des Princes, Kilian Mbappé's teammates are obliged to win at the Lluís Companys stadium. The meeting, relocated to the Montjuic Olympic stadium due to the work on the Camp Nou, promises a great clash between two clubs which have not participated in the final four of the competition for several editions.

On the eve of a crucial match for the two teams, UEFA has revealed the name of the man in black who will officiate for this quarter-final second leg of the competition. Romanian Istvan Kovacs will referee the twenty-two actors in Barcelona. The 39-year-old referee has already refereed 21 C1 matches in the past, including the semi-final first leg between Manchester City and Real Madrid in 2022. It was also he who refereed the round of 16 second leg of the Europa League between Marseille and Villarreal. The Marseille club then asked, without success, UEFA to change the referee due to differences during the 3rd preliminary round lost by OM against Panathinaikos during which the Romanian had sent off Geoffrey Kondogbia.

PSG have already met Istvan Kovacs twice, in 2019 in a 5-0 win over Galatasaray, and this season in the 4-1 rout of Newcastle. Opposite, Barça has only crossed paths with the Romanian referee once, in the Europa League for a round of 16 against Napoli concluded with a score of one goal all.

In 21 Champions League matches, Istvan Kovacs has earned a reputation for getting the easy yellow card. With just over five yellow cards distributed per match on average, he is one of the referees who penalize players the most in the competition. This element must be particularly taken into consideration for Paris Saint-Germain, while several players are under suspension for a possible semi-final in the event of qualification. These include the two central defenders Lucas Hernandez and Martin Skriniar, as well as Vitinha, scorer in the first leg, and Manuel Ugarte. On the other hand, the Parisians will be able to count on the return of their full-back Achraf Hakimi from suspension. Opposite, FC Barcelona will have to do without Sergi Roberto and Andreas Christensen, both suspended.

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