Norwegian referee Tom Ovrebo
was Thursday smuggled out of Britain by police who feared for his safety because of his role in Chelsea‘s exit from the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona.
Ovrebo turned down four strong penalty appeals by Chelsea, who lost the semi-final on the away goals rule after Andres Iniesta scored in the 93rd minute of the second leg to level the scores at 1-1 on the night and on aggregate.
At the end of the game, Ovrebo was confronted by a furious Didier Drogba and had to be escorted down the tunnel by a group of Chelsea stewards who had difficulty restraining the striker.
Fearing reprisals from furious fans, police changed Ovrebo‘s hotel before organising his exit from the country, according to former international referee Graham Poll.
Poll, now a media pundit, revealed, ”This morning he‘s being smuggled out of our country under police escort this is a referee of a football match. That is a disgrace.
“When he booked in a hotel they had to change the hotel he was staying at because of the fear that maybe fans would find him.”
Ovrebo’s situation has worrying echoes of the hounding of Swedish referee Anders Frisk, who retired from the game in 2005 after receiving death threats in the wake of another ill-tempered meeting between Chelsea and Barcelona.
Frisk had sent Drogba off in the first-leg of a second round match and was accused by Chelsea‘s then-boss Jose Mourinho of having invited Frank Rijkaard, the Barca coach at the time, into his room at half-time.
Drogba faces ban over ref confrontation
could be facing a lengthy ban from European football after angrily confronting Norwegian referee Tom Ovrebo at the end of Chelsea‘s controversial Champions League semifinal second leg match with Barcelona in London on Wednesday.
A stoppage time goal from Andres Iniesta earned Barca a 1-1 draw on the night and on aggregate and sent the Catalans into a final meeting with Manchester United at the end of this month on the away goals rule.
Chelsea had legitimate grounds for complaint after being denied at least two good penalty appeals by the referee – who was still considered good enough by UEFA to officiate at last year‘s Euro 2008 championships – but that will not be regarded as any excuse by UEFA when they come to judge Drogba‘s conduct.
Ovrebo had to be escorted from the pitch by a platoon of stewards with Drogba apparently bent on a physical confrontation.
To compound his intimidating behaviour, the Cote d’Ivoire international then turned to a television camera and screamed into it, describing the official as a “fu..ing disgrace.”
Chelsea is also likely to be in hot water with UEFA after infuriated fans threw flags at the officials and the Barcelona bench on the final whistle.
looks like harware go hard for chelsea dis time o ! UP MAN U ! GUNNERS4LIFE !