The referee at the center of the controversial 2009 Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Barcelona, Tom Henning Ovrebo, has admitted that he made mistakes in the game, which ruined Chelsea’s chance to appear in the Final that year.
“Everyone who knows the laws of the game knows I should have done things differently, but that’s the life of a referee,” he said recently. “On the pitch I did my best. I shouldn’t have to apologize as mistakes are part of the game. Some players got emotional and behaved badly, but no one got killed. It’s important to put it into perspective.”
During the game three years ago, the Norwegian official turned down penalty claims during the second-leg tie at Chelsea’s home field, Stamford Bridge. Chelsea lost the game on a goal made by Andres Iniesta during injury time. According to the Chelsea manager at the time, Guus Hiddink, there were four missed penalties during the match: a shirt pull on Drogba by Eric Abidal, handballs by Gerard Pique and Samuel Eto’o, and a grab on Florent Malouda by Dani Alves.
Ovrebo has since retired from the international game, but said that he still occasionally receives death threats.
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