Confession: The Ref Who Robbed Chelsea For Barcelona Confesses

Confession: The Ref Who Robbed Chelsea For Barcelona Confesses

Tom Henning Ovrebo, the referee who officiated Chelsea’s  2009 defeat against Barcelona has revealed that the Blues did deserve a penalty.Information Guide Nigeria

Ovrebo admitted this during a conversation with Sportsmail although he revealed that their protests may have influenced him not to ‘be fooled’.

‘I’m sure the end of the match would have been much easier for us as a refereeing team if that goal had not been scored,’ Ovrebo admits during a conversation with Sportsmail.

‘Chelsea would have gone through to the final and their supporters would have gone to the pub and said, “maybe we should have had one or two or three or four or five or six penalties… but it doesn’t matter tonight because we’re through to the final.”

‘Of course, as a referee, you know a goal like that creates more discussion and more reactions and more controversies around the decisions you have already made in the match.’

‘It can start to get into your head,’ he concedes, ‘but it’s important for a referee and a referee team to have laser-like focus. That’s not easy all the time, but for us it’s about the next situation and you can’t think too much about the situation that passed already.

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‘It was important to keep our focus and to continue to stay concentrated and attentive. Of course, you can always feel the tension in the match and in the stands, but that’s a part of the game and the atmosphere is always nice in matches like this.’

If Ovrebo felt the atmosphere was nice early on, by the time he blew his final whistle it was anything but that.

‘I don’t think the Chelsea supporters are correct when they claim four of five penalties, but I think everybody that knows football and the laws of the game knows there should have been a penalty given,’ he says.

‘That happens, especially before VAR. Sometimes you miss a penalty, sometimes you miss a red card or a crucial decision. And I think everybody that knows football knows there should have been a penalty.

‘They can speculate themselves which ones should have been a penalty. I will not give you a correct answer on that because I don’t have the correct answer, I just have my perception of it.’

To best sum up his shortcomings on the night, Ovrebo points to a famous British rock band. ‘I think it’s Coldplay,’ he says, ‘they have a song and one of the lines is “when you try your best and you don’t succeed”.

‘That in a way sums up the performance of the referees in this match.’

‘In a match like that when you have so many penalty appeals, sometimes as a referee you get concerned about not being fooled by the team,’ he admits. ‘So maybe that could have influenced my perception in a negative way.JAMB Result

‘That could be it. I don’t know for sure, I’m just speculating with you. That could be one kind of explanation, that you don’t want to seem like a referee that is pressured to give a penalty. So then maybe you perceive the situation more strictly in a way.

‘If I had VAR in that match I’m sure some of the calls would have been different. But I can’t go around reflecting on my performance as long as I did my best. I can learn from it and that was maybe the most important thing, but for me I can’t go around and regret some of my calls. I made other mistakes during my 40 years as a referee and I can’t regret all of them.’

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Emediong Ekpe

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing.

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