Referee Oliver, wife, get police support after threats

Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon was sent off against Real Madrid

Nearly a week after Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League, referee Michael Oliver and his wife Lucy continue to be targeted by online trolls.

Juventus, who had wiped out a three-goal deficit from the first leg, were furious when Oliver awarded a soft penalty for a foul by defender Medhi Benatia on Real forward Lucas Vazquez.

Buffon was sent off for dissent before strongly criticising the decision of Oliver, which has led to threats being made to both the Premier League referee and his wife.

"UEFA strongly condemns the abuse directed at Michael Oliver and his wife", European soccer's governing body said in a statement.

Sport understands Lucy Oliver - a Women's Super League referee who also officiates men's non-league football - received threatening texts after her mobile number was posted on social media following the game.

Oliver has since received death threats and abuse on social media, to which UEFA themselves have responded by showing their full support for the 33-year-old.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), who are responsible for English referees, have also stood by Oliver as he prepares to officiate West Ham vs Stoke City on Monday.

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Cristiano Ronaldo smashed home the penalty to send Madrid through while Buffon continued his protestations and slammed Oliver after the game, with the Italian attracting strong criticism as a result.

On Saturday, Buffon said in an interview that he would repeat the comments all over again but in "more civil" language.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: "We are aware of threatening messages being posted on social media".

'This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and those writing the messages need to be aware that they could be committing a criminal offence.

"Neighbourhood officers are in touch with the victims in this case to offer them support and ensure any further offences are reported to police".

'These vituperous attacks on Michael Oliver and his wife are repugnant, ' he said on Twitter. Big admirer of Buffon but his behaviour since has been inflammatory and out of order.

"The ref is a job where you have to decide in less than second and you can't think about many things", Busacca told Premium Sport over a decision many Italians thought was wrong but most neutral thought correct.

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