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Chelsea-Schalke referees lose passports; backups called in

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Mike Hewitt

Did you want an experienced refereeing crew for Chelsea-Schalke on Wednesday? Well too bad, because the officiating staff that was supposed to be controlling the match at Stamford Bridge aren't showing up. That's not a joke -- according to Bosnian outlet, the Serbian crew led by Milorad Mažić have lost their passports after applying to the British embassy for visas. Which, to paraphrase a certain Chelsea legend, is an [amusing] [debacle].

Replacing the unfortunate Mažić and friends are a group led by Ivan Bebek; who'll be aided by Tomislav Petrovic, Miro Grgic, Anto Vucemilovic and Goran Gabril. These are names you need not remember, of course, but it's interesting that this crew was meant to be on Europa League duty this Thursday and will instead be called up to the grownups' tournament. Well done to UEFA for having backup plans, although now I'm imagining that the game Bebek et. al were meant to be taking care of on Thursday will just have to do without referees entirely. Carnage!