Post-News Column: UEFA Needs To Explain Referee Blunders

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Post-News Column: UEFA Needs To Explain Referee Blunders

Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo gave another terrible performance as he officiated the Champions League encounter that saw Fiorentina and Bayern Munich lock horns at the Allianz Arena.

Ovrebo was the referee during the controversial semi-final meeting between Barcelona and Chelsea last year where he inexplicably gave extra added minutes and denied Chelsea clear penalty appeals.

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta eliminated Chelsea at the dying moments of extra time and Ovrebo walked-off the field with Didier Drogba's infamous lines of protest pointed at the Norwegian official.

But Ovrebo was again the center of attention tonight as he took a series of disastrous decisions that changed the fate of the match.

Fiorentina's Massimo Gobbi was shown an undeserved red card after Arjen Robben fell down with a presumable elbow knock from the Italian fullback.

However, replays have shown that Robben ran into Gobbi, and Gobbi's arm was only slightly raised with no traces of violent intentions. 

That decision was scandalous enough to ruin the match for Fiorentina. But it was not enough to satisfy the wrongful referee.

After Ovrebo cut Fiorentina down to ten men, Cesare Prandelli's men looked short of fatigue towards the end of the match before the official made sure they lost the match with another insane decision.

After a powerful Robben shot from the right flank was saved by Sebastien Frey, the ball was headed from Ivica Olic to Miroslav Klose, who scored easily.

However, Klose was clearly in an offside position and despite Fiorentina players' sounding out their frustration, Ovrebo waved the protests away and booked Juan Vargas for his objections.

It was another woeful performance by Ovrebo. As a football fan who always wants to see the game being managed and officiated fairly, I really wish I don't get to see Ovrebo refereeing in a Champions League match again. 

Yes, we should respect referees and I have been an advocate of the respect campaign. But I do not wish to see mistakes from referees ruin the outcome in the most prestigious football club competition in the world. 

Whether it is Fiorentina versus Bayern or even Arsenal against Porto, the two matches held severe refereeing mistakes. And guess who is officiating Porto-Arsenal match? Martin Hansson!

Yes, Hansson's the referee who did not see the handball of Thierry Henry and got Ireland eliminated. 

Can UEFA please explain how they choose the referees at the big games? Isn't it time for replays to be introduced so that the match-changing errors do not occur as much?

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