Byron Moreno, the World Cup’s most controversial referee, is in new trouble back home in Ecuador.

Moreno earned headlines around the world for his officiating in Italy’s golden goal defeat by co-hosts South Korea in the second round. He sent off Italy’s Francesco Totti and disallowed what should have been a winning goal from Damiano Tommasi.

Moreno was treated as a hero on his return to Ecuador. But he ran into controversy first when he aligned himself with a far right party in forthcoming presidential elections. Now he is back in trouble for his refereeing after a turbulent 4-3 victory for LDU over Barcelona in Quito.

Moreno was attacked afterwards for refusing two clear penalties to LDU and one to Barcelona; he allowed a goal to LDU when his assistant had been flagging for offside then changed his mind after the players appealed for him to consult his colleague; he also allowed 12 minutes of injury time at the end of the second half.

“Moreno is out of his depth,” said Barcelona president Leonardo Bohrer. “He was just trying to ingratiate himself with voters in Quito. It was ridiculous. He will have to go.”
By Keir Radnedge