Hiddink: Worst refereeing I've seen

LONDON - Coach Guus Hiddink described the refereeing as the worst he had ever seen after Chelsea were knocked out in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona on Wednesday.

Hiddink claimed Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo denied Chelsea a number of strong penalty appeals during the 1-1 draw in the second leg which saw Barcelona advance to the May 27 final against Manchester United in Rome on the away goals rule.

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Choosing his words with great care, Hiddink told a news conference: "We should have decided the game before getting into a worldwide discussion of the penalties.

"What I am sure about is that you have to get top notch referees who have experience of the big leagues, in Italy, Spain, England and Germany so they can cope.

"Of course players can make mistakes, coaches can mistakes and referees can make mistakes, but that is all in the game. But if you have seen three or four situations waved away then that is the worst refereeing I have seen.

"At this moment I have to think a lot if I have ever seen worse," the Dutchman said.

"We had two or three open chances and we should have taken them and then we wouldn't have this fuss about not just one penalty -- but three or four.


"Sometimes you have to give the referee the benefit of the doubt, but if you have three or four situations in a sequence, like the (Florent) Malouda situation in the first half, and when you see him wave away two handball situations, then I agree with the statement that if there was any justice in football we would be in the final now."

Asked about the reaction of Didier Drogba who was booked after the final whistle for haranguing the referee, Hiddink said: "I can fully understand his reaction.

"He was full of emotion and full of adrenalin but he was in control. If he went beyond that and started hitting he should go, but I fully understand his behaviour after the game and I will protect him."

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