Top 10 death threat referees
1. Anders Frisk
The original Chelsea-Barcelona death-threatened referee. The Swedish official retired in 2005 after officiating between the two sides in a Champions League match. Jose Mourinho claimed Frank Rijkaard had been seen entering Frisk’s room at half-time. And Blues fans were also angry with his sending off of Didier Drogba.
He said: “I’ve had enough. I don’t know if I even dare let my kids go to the post office. Then it’s gone too far. These past 16 days have been the worst in my life as a referee.”
2. Tom Henning Ovrebo
The new kid on the block reportedly had to be smuggled out of the UK on Wednesday night after the Chelsea-Barca match. The receptionist at his Oslo psychology clinic can expect a sackful of English expletives this morning.
3. Urs Meier
The Swiss official was victim of a hate campaign all but orchestrated by The Sun after disallowing Sol Campbell’s last-minute header against Portugal at Euro 2004.
4. Mike McCurry
McCurry has said that disallowing an Aberdeen goal for offisde in a match against Hearts haunted him throughout his career in Scotland. As well as death threats, he claims to have received dead rats, chicken giblets and razor blades over a period of years from Dons fans who couldn’t let the decision go.
5. Valentin Ivanov
Unusually, Ivanov received a pre-match death threat on the eve of the Moscow derby between Spartak and Lokomotiv in 2005. Vadim Grebenkin, aged 51, was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence in relation to the incident.
6. Howard Webb
The threats on Webb’s life after he awarded Austria a 93rd-minute penalty in the Euro 2008 clash against Poland were led by Poland’s Prime Minister. Donald Tusk said: “As the Prime Minister I have to be balanced and collected. But on Thursday night I was speaking very differently about the whole thing. I wanted to kill.”
7. Terje Hauge
Norwegian referee receives death threats after officiating in a match between Barcelona and Chelsea. Sound familiar? This one was 2006 and Hauge’s offence was sending off Asier Del Horno for a foul on Lionel Messi.
8. Martin Hansson
Yet another unfortunate Scandinavian. This Swede received death threats to his mobile phone via calls and text messages after awarding Liverpool a last-minute penalty against Atletico Madrid last November.
9. Javier Turienzo Alvarez
This Spanish referee was targeted after awarding two controversial penalties and sending off two Real Madrid players in a 17-minute spell in a match against Racing Santander in 2007.
He said: “I have received more than 50 phone calls at my house with death threats against me and my family.” The ref blamed a Spanish newspaper carrying the headline ‘Go for him’.
10. Yuichi Nishimura
By way of diversity, this is a referee who was accused of dishing out death threats. Nishimura allegedly told a player to “die” during a J-League game in 2008. The matter eventually fizzled out amid a dispute over the exact words the referee had used.