Official stripped of touchline duties after Barcelona shirt photograph backfires
Wednesday 17 May 2006
Arsenal will have no one to blame but themselves if they lose tonight after the Norwegian assistant referee Ole Hermann Borgan was last night stripped of his duties for the European Cup final by Uefa after being photographed by a newspaper in his home country in a Barcelona shirt.
While Borgan admitted his actions had been stupid he said he would have been impartial, but Uefa has decided against using him and will replace him with fellow Norwegian Arild Sundet. Sundet was not in Paris last night, but will fly in this morning to assist referee Terje Hauge, another Norwegian.
Uefa said: "The referees committee has decided that the Norwegian should be substituted by his compatriot Sundet. The decision comes after a photograph of Borgan wearing a Barcelona shirt."
"It was thoughtless and stupid of me," Borgan said before learning of Uefa's decision. "I didn't think the consequences through when I was asked to put on the shirt."
Hauge reiterated Borgan's regret and said: "It was a stupid thing to do but he did it in pure joy at being chosen to take part. It does not mean he is a Barça fan. It was just a stupid decision. We want to put this behind us and we are now focused 100 per cent on the game."
Before Uefa acted the Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger played down the issue. [Officials] will always work hard and honestly," he said. "The fact that he wore a Barça shirt does not change my mind."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have 'too many strikers' claims Arsene Wenger, despite admitting Lukas Podolski is 'not a real centre-forward'
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Burnley vs Manchester United: Why Louis van Gaal has been unflustered by United's terrible start to the season
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 4 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 5 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage