“There’s never a right time for that, it just doesn’t bode well for the officials. It’s a childish thing to see.”
Octavian Sovre, a linesman who officiated in the Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund game, is set to be charged by UEFA after asking for Erling Haaland’s autograph in the tunnel after the game.
However, it has now emerged that Sovre asked for the Norwegian striker’s autograph to donate it to the autism centre he helps with.
Dortmund ultimately lost the game at the Etihad 2-1 despite a Haaland assist to Reus to make it 1-1 with just six minutes of normal time remaining.
Footage emerged after the game of Sovre appearing to ask for Haaland’s autograph, something that BT Sport pundits Owen Hargreaves and Joleon Lescott weren’t happy with.
“They [the officials] had a difficult first-half and they got a lot of things wrong in that first-half,” Owen Hargreaves said on BT.
“You can be a fan, but you can’t do that in front of the other players, it just doesn’t look right.”
While Lescott branded it a “childish thing to do” and didn’t feel it was the right time to do it.
“There’s never a right time for that, it just doesn’t bode well for the officials. It’s a childish thing to see,” he said.
Have spoken to Romanian FA about the match officials/Haaland autograph. They say Octavian Sovre did it to raise funds for an autism centre he helps with. More info on @SkySportsNews
— Paul Gilmour (@skysportspaulg) April 7, 2021
Nevertheless, it was revealed by Sky Sports journalist Paul Gilmour that Sovre got the autograph in order to raise funds for the autism centre he helps out with.
“Have spoken to Romanian FA about the match officials/Haaland autograph,” Gilmour tweeted.
“They say Octavian Sovre did it to raise funds for an autism centre he helps with.”
Despite his good intentions, Sovre looks set to be punished by UEFA for his actions after the game.
“Uefa is set to reinforce its guidance to referees that they should not ask players for autographs or clubs for signed shirts after a Romanian match official was filmed asking Erling Haaland to sign his yellow card after Borussia Dortmund’s defeat by Manchester City,” The Times report.
“Octavian Sovre is likely to face consequences for his approach to Haaland in terms of his future match appointments by Uefa.”
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