REFEREE TOM OVREBO OPENS UP ON CHELSEA/BARCA 2009 CONTROVERSIAL MATCH DECISIONS

REFEREE TOM OVREBO OPENS UP ON CHELSEA/BARCA 2009 CONTROVERSIAL MATCH DECISIONS

The Chelsea versus FC Barcelona duel in 2009 is an often recalled controversial match of the UEFA Champions League.

The referee was Tom Henning Ovrebo of Norway. Now the 51 year old and lives peacefully in Oslo, the Norwegian capital. His name went down in the history of the Champions League after refereeing the second match of the semifinals of the 2008/09 season, in which Barcelona and Chelsea tied 0-0 at the Camp Nou.

In Stamford Bridge, the English team ended up asking up to four clear penalties, according to their point of view.

“I do not work anymore as a referee of any sort, although when my colleagues need some advice, especially from the mental point of view, I try to help them, he told Spanish sports publication, Marca.

“But I do not participate on a daily basis, Ovrebo remarked.

On whether he was proud of referreing in that infamous match, Ovrebo said: “Not at all. It was not my best day, really.

“But those mistakes can be committed by a referee … and sometimes a player or a coach. You may not have that day the level you should have. But no, I cannot be proud of that day.

“There were several mistakes and everyone will have their opinion of those plays. But, I insist, the players and the coaches also fail, and nothing happens.

“I am proud of having had a long career and having been in the European elite for a while, and among the best in my country at least.

“That’s why you cannot remember my career just for that game, although some people, like you, do it … unfortunately.”

Answering if his refereeing was ‘the most scandalous in the history of the Champions’, he said:

“It could be, I do not know. I cannot change the opinion of the people. But it would be interesting to ask the fans of Real Madrid, for example, that if it had been in favor of their team, instead of Barca, would they have the same opinion of me?”

Also Ovrebo claims he did not consider retiring after the Stamford Bridge game.

“No, not at all, although I think that party influenced my career and I lost the respect of many, of course. But I kept refereeing after that, for the record.

“When a player fails, nothing happens. And, therefore, you have to accept the mistakes of a referee. Unfortunately, they happen and football must accept it. It’s what I think, at least.”