Serbia and Switzerland Group E Rematch

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On 22nd June 2018, Serbia played against Switzerland in a Group E match in the FIFA World Cup. The referee assigned to the game was the German referee Dr. Felix Brych. The final score was 2-1 for Switzerland.

Throughout the game, there was poor decision making against Serbia. The main focus point being a clear penalty not being given midway through the second half, where Switzerland defenders Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schar both grabbed hold of the Serbia striker, Alexander Mitrovic, dragging him to the ground in the penalty area. This was a pivotal decision in the game as the score was 1-1, the penalty would have changed the outlook of the game entirely.

VAR reviewed the incident and told the German referee that it was a penalty, however the referee decided to ignore this and go ahead with the wrong decision and in fact give the foul to Switzerland. Commentators, spectators and pundits all over the world could clearly see that this was a clear and obvious penalty.

Also, this game was of paramount importance as a win for Serbia would guarantee qualification to the knockout round of the FIFA World Cup. Whilst a loss practically ensures their exit from the tournament unless they defeat Brazil in their final group match.

Furthermore, the fact that German officials were assigned to officiate a game involving Switzerland, one of their closest financial and strategic partners as shown throughout history, is a disgrace and clearly questions the neutrality of the officiating in this game.

Therefore, for these reasons I believe that FIFA should replay this match between Serbia and Switzerland, using different neutral officials.