Hodgson rage at Redknapp ref rant

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has blasted Jamie Redknapp following the Sky Sports pundit's attack on referee Tom Henning Ovrebo in the aftermath of Chelsea's Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

The Norwegian official incurred the wrath of the Blues' players, staff and supporters after waving away four penalty appeals at Stamford Bridge last Wednesday, before Andres Iniesta snatched a last-gasp away goal to send the Catalans to Rome to face Manchester United.

Ovrebo had to be smuggled out of both the stadium and later the country, as well as receiving death threats from irate Chelsea fans frustrated at their side's semi-final exit.

Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Redknapp criticised Ovrebo's display after the match.

He suggested future Champions League semi-finals should only be officiated by referees from the top football countries in Europe, arguing officials from smaller nations are not experienced enough in handling high-pressure matches.

“How many big games has he reffed in Norway?" he said. "I don’t know why we can’t have the best ref from Germany or Italy. I don’t think someone from Norway should be reffing a game with the intensity of this one.”

However, Hodgson, who has managed in several European countries including Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and Finland, disagreed vehemently.

“Do people want to go down the Jamie Redknapp route, that only England, Italy and Spain count and everywhere else is no good?” he said in The Sun.

“Are we going to say ‘You’re from Spain, you might be OK, but the rest of you – Switzerland, France, Poland, Russia, Austria, Ukraine, Slovenia, Serbia – can go f*** yourselves because you don’t count’? It’s nonsense.”

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