UEFA ‘strongly condemns’ Michael Oliver abuse after Madrid penalty storm
English referee Michael Oliver (4L) shows a red card to Juventus’ Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (2R) during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Real Madrid CF and Juventus FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 11, 2018. CURTO DE LA TORRE / AFP
European football governing body, UEFA has strongly condemned the abuses referee, Michael Oliver has been subjected to since he officiated the Real Madrid versus Juventus Champions League quarterfinal second leg game in Madrid, reports goal.com.
Having lost the first leg of their quarter-final contest 3-0 at home, Juve were on the verge of forcing extra-time at the Santiago Bernabeu as they led by the same scoreline heading into stoppage time.
But then Oliver penalized Medhi Benatia for bundling Lucas Vazquez over from behind in the area and subsequently sent off Gianluigi Buffon for his reaction, which involved him putting his hands on the referee.
Cristiano Ronaldo smashed home the penalty to send Madrid through while Buffon continued his protestations and slammed Oliver after the game, with the Italian attracting strong criticism as a result.
Oliver and his wife, who is also a referee, have been subjected to abuse and threats in the wake of the match, with UEFA demanding action against those responsible.
A UEFA spokesperson said: “UEFA strongly condemns the abuse directed at Michael Oliver and his wife. “We have been in contact with them to offer our support and we trust the relevant authorities to take action against those individuals who have behaved inappropriately both on and off social media.”
Oliver was back in action as the referee for the first time since that match yesterday as West Ham host Stoke City in the Premier League, having acted as a fourth official at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.