Thursday, 7 May 2009

Does Drogba Deserve Punishment?

Manchester United plastics and football fans worldwide tuned into last night’s second semi final of this years Champions League competition between Chelsea and Barcelona to see who would join the Red Devils in Rome.

The match was always going to be a feisty affair after the first leg ended goalless at the Nou Camp. Barca went into the match without the experience of Thierry Henry, Carles Puyol and Rafael Marquez but with the advantage of knowing an away goal would end the Blues hopes of reaching the final for the second year running.

Guus Hiddink’s side couldn’t of asked for a better start when Ghanaian playmaker Michael Essien hit, what surely must be a contender for goal of the competition, a superb strike in the 9th minute to put the blues ahead.

Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo was the man in black with the responsibility of controlling two of Europe’s biggest teams. The Norwegian is an experienced referee with over 17 years experience under his belt and has refereed in both the Norwegian Premier League and Euro 2008, but the high profile of last night’s clash seemed to get the better of the 42 year old.

With penalty appeal after penalty appeal being turned down, you kind of got the impression that it wasn’t going to be the Blues night despite the one goal advantage. Things eventually did turn sour when Iniesta hit the target with a superb finish two minutes into added time to take the visitors through to the final on under the away goal rule.

This effort on goal was Barcelona’s first and last on target shot of the match and what a shot it was. With the Blues feeling hard done by, and to be fair to Hiddink and co have good reason, they proceeded to mob Ovrebo, with security not too far behind.

One player in particular led the verbal assault on Ovrebo, a certain striker who had felt cheated for the 72 minutes he was on the field of play, who else but none other than Didier Drogba. The Ivory Coast international’s outburst was seen by all as television camera’s filmed all of his passionate attack.

As Drogba followed Ovrebo off the pitch he turned to the Sky Sports camera and was heard shouting “It’s a fucking disgrace” on national television. But was the 31 year old right to continue his feud after the 90 minutes which resulted in Drogba receiving a yellow card, not that he seemed to calm down the situation.

What happens now is up to Ufea to decide, but it’s clear that the striker won’t get away with his actions likely.

But was he right to have his say? Chelsea captain John Terry after the match said: “I am fully behind Didier for the way he reacted”. He continued "People are saying we shouldn't have reacted the way we did but the fact is, six decisions went against us in front of 40,000 people. And for the ref to not give one of them is unusual."

It was heard that Ovrebo had to be smuggled out of the country this morning as British police feared his safety and will be watched closely for some time.

What do you think about the striker’s outburst after the match? Or referee Ovrebo’s terrible performance on the highest of occasions, should he ref again? Or maybe football needs a 3rd eye in the form of improved technology?

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