Steve Bennett has been accused of being a liar. Not by Greek club officials, but by a distinguished Scottish coach, David Moyes.

The chief referee of Greek football, Steve Bennett, is a misunderstood man. His institutional oblivion and the tearful attacks he’s received are due to his problem of adapting to the present – he’s always looked too far ahead.

This was the case in the Christmas Eve match back in 2008 between Hull and Aston Villa, which ended 0-1, in which he was the referee. The rascally Bennett implemented VAR 10 years before it was approved by FIFA’s International Council.

During injury time he awarded a penalty in favor of the home team because he «saw» Aston Villa player Ashley Young block the ball with his hand on the goal line.

Aston Villa players were furious, but Bennett behaved like a fox. He went to assistant Andy Halliday, and the latter was told over a radio set, by a third person off the field, who saw the replay and told him exactly what happened. Bennett overturned his penalty decision, unofficially ushering in the VAR era.

The Englishman, who stars for all the wrong reasons in our football, also has a hobby of “mud-slinging”.

In February 2009, he was at a UEFA conference in Spain and, not knowing that a reporter from the scandal sheet “News of The World” was sitting next to him, claimed that footballers try to get booked with cards during the holiday season, in order to spend Christmas with their families.

Swearing on his mother’s life over the veracity of the story, Bennett said a footballer visited him in the dressing room and asked him to give him a yellow card so he could miss Christmas and go on holiday with his family.

An officiating committee immediately distanced itself from Bennett, while the Premier League stopped answering the phones so it wouldn’t find itself in the role of the apologist for his blunder.

Steve Bennett has been accused of being a liar. Not by Greek club officials, but by a distinguished Scottish coach, David Moyes.

In a 2003 game, the exceedingly vain and arrogant Bennett sent off Moyes, the then Everton manager, on the pretext that he used indecent language.

Moyes swore by all he holds sacred that he was not profane. However, he said something that now has an importance on current Greek football affairs, namely, that he was prejudiced against him.

This great football personality, whose highlight in Europe is a Champions League quarter-final, once said the incomparable «if you’re not good enough at football the next best thing you can do is become a referee, in order to be involved with the sport» – obviously to justify his failed career as a goalkeeper, he’s turned Greek football upside down and now threatens to “blow up” the league.

To see the future, it’s enough to take a look at the past. Maybe that’s what his bosses did after all, and they ended up with the rising English officiating star.

Besides, Bennett has proven that he is willing to serve in any position that is asked of him – even becoming a cricket umpire consultant, as he did in 2009.

Those who view his appointment in the nerve-wracking position of chief referee with a grain of humor say that Bennett responded to the offer by mimicking Woody Allen: “The answer is yes. But can you remind me of the question?”

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