Sky Sports apologise after ex-referee Dermot Gallagher makes 'Holocaust' reference

Former Premier League referee was analysing Celtic's 3-0 defeat to Juventus

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The Independent Football

Sky Sports were forced to apologise today after ex-referee Dermot Gallagher used the word 'Holocaust' when analysing Celtic's Champions League match against Juventus.

The former Premier League referee was critical of a fifth official on duty during last night's Champions League tie who failed to see Juventus striker Alessandro Matri's shot had crossed the line.

Matri's shot was cleared before Claudio Marchisio followed up to score. The assistant referee awarded the goal correctly, despite the fifth official's failure to see the ball had already crossed the line.

Gallagher said: "The problem for me is I don’t think there is any tangible evidence that they (fifth officials) do anything.

"But for a Juventus player following up a shot very, very quickly we could have had another Holocaust last night.

"I am convinced that the assistant and the guy on the goal line don’t know the ball is in."

The comments by Gallagher were quickly picked up on Twitter and Sky Sports News presenters Rob Wooton and Hayley McQueen apologised live on air minutes later.

A statement from Sky Sports read: "Dermot Gallagher made a comment on air that he clearly now regrets," said a statement from the organisation on behalf of Gallagher.

"We have apologised on behalf of him and Sky Sports for any offence caused."

Gallagher, who retired as a referee in 2007, is a regular analyst on the rolling sports news channel.