"Why? Why? Why Øvrebø? Why Busacca? Why De Bleeckere? Why Stark? Why? Because every semi-final the same things happen. We are talking about an absolutely fantastic football team, so why do they need that? Why? Why does a team as good as they are need something [extra] that is so obvious that everyone sees it?" - José Mourinho
Whether you buy into the conspiracy theories or not, it would be pretty difficult to argue that Barcelona haven't been rather fortunate (can you hear those sirens? sounds like the understatement police are on their way to lock me up) in the way of CL refereeing decisions over the past half-decade or so. Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter, Real Madrid and now A.C. Milan are among teams that have suggested that biased refereeing decisions have cost them ties. While I do have my own take on exactly what's going on, this isn't about me (!!). I've seen several people on this board arguing in the last 24 hours that even if we do manage to rival Barcelona on the pitch in a couple of week's time, we have "no chance" because of their apparent propensity for match-fixing. As such (i.e. if those people genuinely think it's cause for concern), I'd like to direct their collective attention towards this fairly recent online petition:
While it only has a couple signatures, we know how quickly these things can go viral if people start sharing (very quickly indeed). I've read probably in excess of 1000 comments over the last couple of days on Facebook, Twitter, etc. which assert that Barcelona are involved in match-fixing, so the signatures are there, so to speak. Start sharing and see what happens?
N.B. I am NOT arguing here that Barcelona are involved in match-fixing, I am simply directing those who adamantly believe that they are towards a practical means of expressing this concern. These people might hope that, in a kind of best-case scenario, the publicity of such a petition, providing people are motived enough to get it off its figurative feet, could (like this site!) gain major-media coverage (though preferably before rather than during the game) and thus exert enough pressure on a "bought" referee that he might be dissuaded from making otherwise partial decisions.* The pragmatists among us who are a little more sceptical when it comes to these kind of conspiracies might recognise an (admittedly less sportsmanlike) almost mourinho-esque motive for sharing this thing, ifyaknowwhatimean. If the events of the last couple of years have taught us anything, it is surely to never underestimate the vast, neo-democratic power of social media.
* Apologies for stupidly convoluted sentence, it's 4am and I'm pretty drunk.