Neil Lennon blasts Cypriot refs

1 min read

Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon has blasted Cypriot refereeing again, claiming that officiating has driven him crazy in the few months he has been head coach at Omonia Nicosia.

The Greens came out on top after a clash with Doxa Katokopias on Saturday, with Lennon hitting out over the time the officials took to decide a crucial penalty in the 2-0 victory.

Coach Lennon pointed out that despite the Cypriot league employing VAR, the officiating is slow in making key decisions.

“I am very happy with the win and performance. I thought the team were fantastic. My only criticism was we had to wait a long time for the second goal.

“Some of the quality of the chances we created were fantastic. The whole team functioned very well. Psychologically it’s a huge win for us,” said Lennon.

“I am not happy with the referee. I wasn’t happy against Paralimni, but I did not say much.

“But his performance… I don’t understand the officiating in this country,” fired the Northern Irelander.

“Why it takes them so long to make a decision on a penalty. It drives people – players, supporters, coaches – crazy.”

Lennon’s squad walked away with the three points, now turning their attention to Thursday’s money-making clash with Manchester United in the Europa League.

Omonia Nicosia is fourth in the Cyprus championship, winning three out of their opening five games.

However, they have lost both of their encounters in Europe, losing 3-0 at home to Moldavian Sheriff Tiraspol and away to Real Sociedad 2-1.

Lennon has revealed an added buzz ahead of the match with the Red Devils due to the fact that several of his squad are United supporters.

United is expected to come to Cyprus with all their star players, minus captain Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane, both injured.

Lennon in March replaced former Manchester United legend Henning Berg, who lifted the league title the year before while leading the club to first place during the 2020-21 season.

The Northern Irelander led the team to the Cup Final, with Omonia taking home the trophy in a penalty shootout after playing almost 120 minutes with ten men due to a red card given to wing-back Abdulahi Shehu.

Lennon was sent off in the last minutes of the final for clashing with the referee.