Serbian referee Srdjan Obradovic sentenced to 15 months in prison

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Being a referee is a thankless task. Quite literally.

Nobody praises an official if they have a good game. That’s just expected of them.

But make one mistake and it’s scrutinised for days.

In theory, their jobs should have become a bit easier with the introduction of VAR. But it seems that’s only served to make their task even more complicated as their ability is questioned continuously.

While fans in England may to quick to criticise honest mistakes from the likes of Mike Dean and Martin Atkinson, they should be thankful they don’t have to deal with Serbian referee Srdjan Obradovic.

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Obradovic has been handed a 15 month jail sentence and a 10 year ban from refereeing for his performance during a game between Spartak Subotica and Radnicki Nis in the Serbian league in 2018. It was a game that could have decided Europa League qualification, so it was a pretty big deal.

But all the talk was on Obradovic after he gave two penalties to Subotica during the game and sent off a Nis player. The two penalties were converted as the home side claimed a 2-0 victory.

Now, though, the ref has been punished by the anti-corruption department of the Novi Sad Supreme Court. According to Serbian outlet Tanjug, he has been sentenced to 15 months in jail and given a 10 year ban from any activity with the Serbian FA.

Why?

And you can see why if you watch the highlights.

The first penalty is given after a defender challenges for a header inside his box. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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But the award of the second penalty is probably what arose suspicions.

A low cross is deflected by the leg of the defender and, after absolutely no appeals, Obradovic points to the penalty spot leaving Radnicki Nis in disbelief.

If all that wasn’t enough, he also sent off Nis player Milan Pavkov - giving the striker two yellow cards in a matter of seconds.

Check out the highlights of the match below:

Madness.

Next time you moan about a refereeing decision in England, just be glad that a corrupt official is in charge.

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