'Guardiola is undermining referees'

The Spaniard’s touchline histrionics have angered a former official who says his behaviour is having a negative effect on the authority of the men officiating matches

A former referee has hit out at Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola and says his touchline antics are undermining match officials.

The former Barcelona boss sparked controversy after sprinting down the pitch to protest with assistant referee Markus Hackers by the corner flag on Tuesday after an own goal was disallowed in the 1-1 draw with Schalke in the Bundesliga.

Just minutes later Guardiola was celebrating when Arjen Robben opened the scoring with a header, prompting the Spaniard to pump his fists in delight and then hug the same official, though his joy was eventually extinguished when Benedikt Howedes equalised soon after.

Ex-referee Urs Meier, who took charge of the 2002 Champions League final, saw the incident unfold and says Guardiola’s behaviour has over-stepped the mark.

“It is disrespectful,” he said in his column for Focus Online. “With these actions Guardiola undermines the authority of referees and makes them look ridiculous. It is an absurdity.”

The 44-year-old is yet to taste victory in 2015 after the shock 4-1 defeat to Wolfsburg last Friday was followed by Tuesday’s draw.

His side will have another chance to get their first three points of the year on the board when they travel to Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon. 

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