Ajax face backlash for 10cm short goalpost ahead of the Arsenal tie in Women’s Champions League

The closely contested Ajax-Arsenal qualifier tie for the Women’s Champions League 2022/23 group stage at Sportcomplex De Toekomst was marred by the visiting side’s successful claim that the goalposts put in place were 10cm short. The incident occured shortly before kick off and resulted in the change of posts ahead of the match. The International Football Association (IFA) rules state that the goalpost must be 8 feet high from the ground.

In the post-match interview, Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall said that they discovered the difference in the goalpost size during the warm up ahead of the match and called for it to be changed back.

“It has been a weird experience coming here and playing a big club like Ajax and we have to measure the goals and it turned out they were 10cm too small. I have never experienced anything like it,” Eidevall was quoted by Arselblog post match.

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall shouts from the touchline during the Arsenal-Ajax tie at Sportcomplex De Toekomst. (Photo: Arsenal Women/Twitter)

With the tie evenly poised after a 2-2 in London, Ajax had the opportunity to stun the team who finished second in the 2022/23 FA Women’s Super League. However, a goal from Vivianne Miedema just after half time sealed the deal for the North London club currently on top of the WSL points table.

The match, as evident by the scoreline, caused a flare in the temperatures on multiple occasions over the two legs and the incident ahead of the kickoff in Ajax didn’t help to it.

Case of the concussion sub  

In the final minutes of the match, Arsenal were forced to finish the game with 10 players on the pitch with forward Beth Mead taken off after a blow to her head. It is here that Arsenal decided to use Lina Hurtig as a concussion sub which was disallowed by the fourth official, leaving the Swedish manager fuming.

I think UEFA removed the concussion sub, they still have the concussion protocol but the doctor makes the decision,” Eidevall said.

“There is no doubt that Beth Mead needs to be taken off.  The problem that I have is that I asked the fourth official if we can do a concussion sub and she says ‘yes.’ Then when we are preparing Lina and when we are about to do it she says ‘no.’ We had a break for 2-3 minutes while Beth was treated, we would have been talking about how to play with ten. That misinformation from the referee… I don’t understand it. It’s such a simple question to answer yes or no.”

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