UEFA forced to change referees due to visa problems

Initially appointed for the UEFA Champions League match Chelsea – Schalke, referee Milorad Mazic and his team had some problems in obtaining their British visas. The UK Embassy in Warsaw, in charge of the entire region, kept their passports a day longer, instead of sending the passports back to Serbia on Monday morning, they only did it in the evening, so the passports would not arrive on time. UEFA replaced the Serbian match officials (photo) with the Croatian Ivan Bebek along with his team, who were meant to be on Europa League duty this Thursday. They were also replaced by a Czech referee team led by Ivan Kruzliak. (Source: Daily Mail / bportal.ba)

Last year, a French referee team had problems with their passports, but they managed to sort them out on time. "The CFA, after reviewing the documents, including emails from the Technical Refereeing Department regarding the procedure for obtaining Russian visas, after hearing Nicolas Danos by conference call in his explanations, given the neglect observed in this case not to have sent the passport but simply copying it, considering the consequences of this administrative failure that could have prevented the visa without the intervention of diplomatic authorities, nevertheless that Nicolas Danos tried to limit the effect by providing immediate passport on the first flight and the travel of the French referee quartet finally took place normally. According to Article 39 section 6 of the referee regulations, decided unanimously to suspend Nicolas Danos for 15 days, starting on 3 September 2013." (Source: The Third Team)