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May 6, 2009 is a day that most Chelsea fans will never forget as the Blues felt robbed in the Champions League semifinal clash against Barcelona.
Chelsea were winning the game 1-0 and looked at the verge of making it to the final before Andres Iniesta scored a stoppage time goal to end the game 1-1, with Barcelona going through on the away goal.
Chelsea had up to four clear-cut penalty appeals turned down by the referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, and he has now revealed how that singular game killed his career as a ref.
Speaking to Spanish-language football magazine Panenka on the 10th anniversary of the infamous match at Stamford Bridge, the Norwegian admitted he did not have the best of nights as he repeatedly turned down penalty appeals by the Blues, and now wished he had the help of VAR.
“I wish I had the help of the VAR that day,” said Ovrebo, who retired from refereeing in 2013.
“After the first half, my assistants and I felt that we had control. At the end of the match, however, I did not have that feeling.
“When I got to the dressing room I thought: ‘Okay, Tom Henning, this has not been your best night’.”
The 52-year-old felt his performance that night probably cost him the chance of officiating at the World Cup in South Africa the following year.
“In the space of two hours, I went from being a fairly respected referee to becoming the biggest fool in international football,” he said.
“I did not go to the World Cup. My team and I knew we had a good chance of going if we did a good job at Stamford Bridge. In the end, we did not do it, and I think it’s natural that our chance to be at the World Cup in South Africa disappeared.”