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Lyon could launch PROTEST over referee being used for Man City clash in Champions League over Dutch links

LYON could launch a complaint about the choice of referee for their Champions League quarter-final clash against Manchester City.

The European knockout clash has been hit by claims that there could be a conflict of interest surrounding Dutch official Danny Makkelie.

That is because the outcome of the match could have a potentially huge financial impact on Dutch giants Ajax.

If Man City win, the Eredivisie champions will automatically qualify for next season’s Champions League group stage.

Yet should Lyon prevail, then Ajax will be forced into a qualifying play-off which could put them at risk of big financial losses should they lose.

Makkelie, 37, a former police officer who served as the video assistant referee for the 2018 World Cup final, will be the man overseeing the action.

And former Dutch referee Dick Jol has expressed sympathy for his compatriot who he thinks UEFA have stuck in the firing line.

Financially – and in a sporting way – there is so much at stake in this game. Makkelie is not to blame. I don't doubt his integrity for one second

Former referee Dick Jol

He told De Telegraaf: “UEFA should not have put Danny Makkelie in this position. Never! Can you imagine the French newspapers?

“They are going to be dishing it out about him taking charge of the game before a ball has been kicked.

“Financially – and in a sporting way – there is so much at stake in this game. Makkelie is not to blame. I don't doubt his integrity for one second.

“He has a massive reputation with UEFA and he is making an international career in a great way, but what happens if he gives a penalty to City late in the game? If City win, fingers will get pointed at him.”

Lyon do have precedent to change match referee should they complain as has happened with an official from the Netherlands before.

Dutchman John Blankenstein was replaced by English ref Philip Don for the 1994 Champions League final between AC Milan and Barcelona.

It was said that the Italians, who later ran out 4-0 winners, were unhappy that a Dutch official was chosen with Johan Cruyff in charge of Barca.

And Jol added: “Milan were very angry back in 1994 because of the presence of Cruyff and Koeman.”

“I would think that there is now the same mood in Lyon.”

Uefa admit Chelsea were given unfair advantage against Ajax to progress to Champions League last-16

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