A Shameful Night At The Bridge


Regardless of how you feel about the performance of referee Tom Henning Ovrebo in last night’s Champions League semi-final, there is no defense for the actions of John Terry, Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba. Ballack’s chase and grab of the referee should have resulted in an immediate red card. And Drogba’s shameful tirade should result in a massive ban. Instead of acting like professionals and accepting defeat, they instead added fuel to the fire that has resulted in fans posting death threats against the referee.

I also put Guus Hiddink to task for defending the actions of these spoiled sore losers. I know it’s the job of a manager to defend his players, but it’s also the manager’s duty to set an example of behavior that his players should follow. Instead of congratulating Andres Iniesta for a wonderful strike, or taking blame for not being able to put away a squad that was down to ten men, they have decided to harp on penalties that they thought they should have received.

In the end it wasn’t Chelsea who lost, but football. In an age when bloated salaries have resulted in bloated egos and a sense of entitlement in players, Drogba and Ballack’s actions have furthered the image of the out of touch, out of control footballer. The club released a statement condemning their fans’ threats against the referee, but felt no need to address the actions of their players. If Chelsea wishes to be one of the greatest clubs in the world, they could have used this moment to set an example to the rest of the footballing world that these actions will not be tolerated. Instead they just enabled the next player who decides to make a mockery of the sport.

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2 Responses to “A Shameful Night At The Bridge”

  1. Andy Clifford says:

    I am a long time Chelsea fan and agree absolutely that the players actions were wrong, in an ideal world this energy should have been directed through appropriate channels to right any wrong doing.

    However, those of us who have been around a few years know that this never works. If Drogs & co had not taken the action they did, we would likely not be talking about this now. The four blatant wrong penalty decisions would have gone undiscussed and the incorrect red card unspoken about. UEFA clown Platini has long made it known that he did not want yet another EPL dominated CL final – this explains why he would put a second rate referee in charge of such a high profile game. Ovrebo has a history of bad decisions, you only need to look at his bio to see why he was not suitable to manage this game.

    Yes, you are correct – the players overreacted and should not have done what they did….but it would never have happened if a qualified referee had been on the field!


  1. [...] suspensions are reduced, or god forbid, retracted, it means open season on the referees. As I wrote at the time, Chelsea’s actions at the end that match were embarrassing and completely disrespectful to the [...]


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