A decade has passed since referee Tom Henning Ovrebo’s awful officiating on May 6, 2009 cost Chelsea a place in the Champions League final in the 2008/2009 season – with most Blues fans confident that Chelsea would have gone on to win the Champions League that seaon.
Ovrebo put up what many view as “the most terrible officiating” in a Champions League game which ultimately led to Chelsea’s exit from the competition. Ovrebo turned down four clear-cut penalty decisions which should have gone Chelsea’s way.
Interestingly, after Andres Iniesta grabbed the late equalizer for Barcelona, Chelsea had a strong penalty appeal waved off (the fourth terrible decision) to show just how bad Ovrebo was on the night.
The Norwegian has revealed that he received death threats at the end of that game and claimed that his reputation as a referee was flushed down the toilet after that fixture.
He said in an interview with RMC on Thursday night: “I was receiving messages saying, ‘You should be dead.’ After that game, my reputation as a referee was flushed down the toilet.”
Reacting to Gerard Pique’s handball incident, Ovrebo admitted he had missed Gerard Pique’s handball in the 80th minute: “I think that’s a penalty situation. But from my angle, the ball was kicked at the hand, not the hand at the ball so at the moment, I felt that was not a penalty situation. Unfortunately, that was a mistake.”
Eric Abidal also had another penalty incident that was waved off by the ref having handled the ball in the box.
Ovrebo commented on the episode: “That is also a difficult situation because the player turned around and raised his arm. What I had to take into account is that was his shoulder, his back or his hand. I think I would not have any problems if I had given a penalty.”