Referee quits over 'Chelsea death threats'

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The Swedish referee at the centre of the feud between the Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and the Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has quit the game after a series of threats from football hooligans, most of which are understood to have come from England.

Anders Frisk, 42, a top international referee for 16 years, said: "The last few weeks have been the worst of my life. There have been threats on the phone and via emails and more usually in the post, and they've also affected my family. I have been afraid what these people could do to my children. For me football is the biggest sport ever, but sometimes it's also very insignificant."

The first-leg clash between Chelsea and Barcelona in February ended in controversy after it was alleged Rijkaard tried to influence the match by speaking to Mr Frisk at half time. Chelsea were also angered when Mr Frisk sent off Didier Drogba early in the second half.

He added: "Soon it's going to become impossible to referee a Champions League match if the clubs can't accept a defeat or a player being dismissed."