By Mark Wyatt
Cardiff University Football Club last week visited Belgium in the second-part of a two-way trip involving KU Leuven University.
The trip saw both the men’s team and the women’s play matches against their Belgian counterparts both in Cardiff and in Leuven.
But controversy sparked in the women’s game as the Belgian officials continued to ignore multiple fouls and some blatant offside calls from Leuven.
After a tense match in the Welsh capital that saw Leuven’s ladies win on penalties back in March (pictured), it was always going to be a lively return fixture when the clubs clashed in Belgium.
Unfortunately, it was for all the wrong reasons as team member Hayleigh Snow discussed exclusively with Gair Rhydd Sport.
“The linesmen and the referee never gave anything our way, I was coaching on the side and would call out when we were fouled, but they would just laugh and say it was a Belgian ball.
“In the last five minutes Krista (Lord) was taken out by the keeper, the referee didn’t stop play and I was screaming for the girls to kick the ball out of play.
“It turned out that Krista had ruptured her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in the challenge, she can’t play for the rest of the season because of the injury.”
Hayleigh went on to describe how she felt the men’s match was officiated in a much more professional manor than their own game and said it was upsetting to see.
“We travelled a long way for the match so we were disappointed in the way it went. They took the men’s game much more seriously which we felt was wrong on so many levels.”
The team were keen to emphasise that they held no grudges with their fellow players though:
“We didn’t let the game ruin our trip, we had a great time with the other girls and went out with them after.
“We knew a lot of them from the first fixture so we all got on really well, other than the match itself we had a fantastic experience.”
The club returned home from their trip still in high spirits and are now focusing on their upcoming fixtures in the UK.
The ladies are currently 5th in the Premier South Division, but possess two games in hand over their cloest rivals Cardiff Met in 4th.
Hertfordshire’s 19-point haul in 1st and Chichester’s 17 points in 2nd are currently unassailable for CUFC.
However they still have the chance to finish 3rd with their remaining four matches and will look to climb up the table when they host Cardiff Met on Wednesday.
The two will go head-to-head for the bragging rights in the Welsh capital, which currently belong to Cardiff Met after their 5-1 victory the last time the two sides met.