Ref Ovrebo admits to Viola mistake

BY foxsports • February 18, 2010

Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo has admitted he should have ruled out Miroslav Klose's last-minute winner for Bayern Munich against Fiorentina.

Ovrebo's performance was roundly criticised after he harshly sent off Massimo Gobbi for an innocuous-looking tackle before allowing Klose to remain on the field for what appeared a much more dangerous challenge.

To rub salt into the Fiorentina wounds, it was Klose who nodded in the last-minute winner while clearly offside and the Norwegian referee admits he should not have allowed the goal to stand.

"Based on the pictures and the feedback we've received, it's clear we should have realised it was offside," Ovrebo told Norwegian television channel TV2. "But we unfortunately did not realise that on the pitch.

"Based on the advice I got from my assistant, I chose to approve the goal - and it is my responsibility.

"I always get just the advice of an assistant referee but I make a final decision.

"But the pictures later show that it was perhaps not so wise"

Ovrebo has faced widespread criticism for decisions in previous matches and received death threats last year after a number of controversial decisions in Chelsea's semi-final defeat by Barcelona in the same competition.

He has once again become the focus of attention but is refusing to speculate on whether his refereeing future could be examined by UEFA.

"It's hard to say," he added. "It's up to UEFA to consider.

"We take the games we get. Then UEFA assess whether we are good enough for new duties."

Meanwhile, Giancarlo Abete, president of the Italian football federation (FIGC), has lambasted Ovrebo for his performance in the first leg of the last-16 clash.

"It was a very serious error above all in this stage of a direct knockout round of the Champions League," said the Italian football chief.

"Fiorentina were clearly disadvantaged and, even if it is true that mistakes can happen, it is also true that those of yesterday were too evident: the offside wasn't a question of centimetres but of metres.

"It seems obvious to me that there was a referee who wasn't of the same level as the game."

Abete revealed he called UEFA president Michel Platini this morning, as well as Fiorentina owner Andrea Della Valle, to express his feelings.

He added: "Platini is the first one to be worried by what happened because this kind of refereeing ends up damaging UEFA themselves first of all.

"It's obvious that the referee wasn't in form in so many ways and that he shouldn't have been given such an important match."

Ovrebo made headlines last year when he denied Chelsea a string of seemingly clearcut penalties, while he also harshly dismissed Barca's Eric Abidal.

It is not the first time he has faced criticism from the FIGC. During Euro 2008 he disallowed Luca Toni's goal against Romania for offside, later admitting he had made a mistake.

Ovrebo also angered Juventus fans in the Champions League group stages when he allowed a late Bordeaux equaliser to stand from a clear offside position.

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