The Norwegians are not taking this too kindly.
Today, Drogba’s apology was posted on the Chelsea website.
“I was very upset at what happened during the game, but having seen the pictures on TV I accept that I overreacted.”
Good for him.
Ovrebo had to be smuggled out of England, switching hotels. On landing at Oslo, he avoided the media. Norwegian police have been patrolling his house. Hate groups have formed on the internet targeting the Norwegian referee and his family, including a group called Kill Tom Henning Ovrebo.
The creator of one group states: “We group dedicated to the hunt for (and brutal murdering of) the second-leg champions league ref of Chelsea vs Barcelona.”
Ovrebo was pursued into the players’ tunnel by Drogba and Ballack with the Ivorian hitting the wall with his fist as abuse was screamed at the official.
No less than Graham Poll, surely, as controversial as they come, weighs on this issue.
Poll blamed the players for stoking the fans’ anger. He added: “When you see players acting like that, fans are called fans because they are fanatics — they may feel it’s time to take action themselves.”
The Norwegian Football Federation defended Ovrebo’s game management.
They will now take over UEFA and review the game. Further action could be taken against Ovrebo but they expressed confidence that he would be cleared. However, if cleared, the NFF also stated that the decision to continue officiating would be left to him probably keeping in mind Andres Frisk affair after a similar situation four years ago, left Chelsea fans issuing death threats against the Swedish referee and his family, forcing his retirement.
Ovrebo is a trained psychologist, so maybe he can start by giving himself some much needed therapy.