Such is the state of the game these days that even the appointment of officials can turn into headline news.
Officials have become celebrities in their own right, often for their bad performances rather than their good ones, and that is certainly the case for José María Sánchez Martínez, the man who will man the VAR for Rangers vs Braga at Ibrox on Thursday.
COPE report today that the Spanish referee has been appointed to oversee Rangers’ Europa League game this week and that will undoubtedly be of interest to Steven Gerrard and his team.
You see, Sánchez Martínez has not exactly had a great time of things of late. Indeed, the last time he refereed a game, it was something of a disaster.
As COPE explain, he was the referee for Real Betis vs Barcelona just over a week ago, and his performance caused plenty of ‘controversy’.
The game, which Barça won 3-2, saw two reds cards, a penalty controversy and plenty of questionable decisions from the man in the middle that left both clubs complaining about him afterwards.
For instance, Betis were annoyed that Nabil Fekir was sent off after receiving two yellows within seconds of each other, while they also felt Sergi Roberto should have seen red for scything down Carles Alena while he was on a booking.
Barça, meanwhile, were annoyed that Lionel Messi wasn’t awarded a penalty when he was clearly pulled back in the box.
Neither club were happy with the display, and the Spanish FA seemed to agree, deciding to leave Martínez on the sidelines and not allocating him a game list time around.
He’s now set to make his return for Rangers game on Thursday, in which he will be running the VAR, and should there be even the slightest hint of controversy, Steven Gerrard will have a perfect, ready-made excuse.