Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'The Ref 'S a Thief ... He Should Be Kicked Out'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'The Ref 'S a Thief ... He Should Be Kicked Out'

Article excerpt


CHELSEA 1 BARCELONA 1-1 on agg, Barcelona win on away goals Final: Man Utd v Barcelona, Rome, 27 May

JOSE BOSINGWA today branded referee Tom Henning Ovrebo "a thief" after Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League in controversy at Stamford Bridge. Ten-man Barcelona knocked out the Blues on away goals as Andres Iniesta's 93rd-minute equaliser cancelled out Michael Essien's superb first-half volley.

But although Ovrebo sent off Eric Abidal for a professional foul on Nicolas Anelka, the Norwegian official appeared to deny Guus Hiddink's side four clear penalties, prompting ugly scenes at the final whistle.

Striker Didier Drogba, who had been substituted, was booked after the match for a foul-mouthed tirade as several of his team-mates argued with the referee while the teams headed down the tunnel.

And Blues full-back Bosingwa told Portuguese TV station RTP: "I do not know if he is a referee or a thief. There are no words to describe the person that was on the pitch here.

"We are all sad but we have to raise our heads high again. There is nothing to say about Barcelona's goal but there were penalties that were not awarded.

The way he refereed the match was not the most correct one. He should never referee again." Captain John Terry also condemned Ovrebo's display. He said: "The referee makes bad decisions, he should face the consequences. He should be the one coming out here and speaking to you and going through what was and what wasn't, why he gave something, why he didn't give something.

"Over two legs they played well but in this game we had six or seven penalty claims waved away and that is astonishing. Anywhere else in the world that would not happen. You can see he might not have given the first one but come the second, where Nicolas Anelka puts it round Gerard Pique and he slams it down with his hand? "I didn't see the referee afterwards.

He had our stewards supporting him, which is funny. When you get to these stages, it is down to UEFA to be strong enough to say 'right, these are our four best referees. They are going to referee the home legs and the away legs'. …

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