Blundering British ref Oliver hung out to dry on Twitter

April 17 – UEFA has condemned the online abuse aimed at referee Michael Oliver and his wife after the English referee awarded a highly contentious stoppage-time penalty to Real Madrid that knocked Juventus out of the Champions League last week.

Juventus, who had wiped out a three-goal deficit from the quarterfinal first leg, were furious when Oliver handed Real a lifeline for a foul by defender Medhi Benatia on Real forward Lucas Vazquez.

Oliver, 33, was bitterly attacked by Juve’s veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who said the official was not prepared for such a high-profile game and should instead have been eating crisps in the stands.

Buffon, who was sent off for his furious protest, said that Oliver had a “bag of rubbish” for a heart.

The BBC reported on Sunday that British police were investigating threatening text messages sent to Oliver’s wife Lucy, whose Twitter account was also targeted with threatening and abusive messages.

“UEFA strongly condemns the abuse directed at Michael Oliver and his wife,” European soccer’s governing body said in a statement.

“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.”

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