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Assistant Referee Who Got Erling Haaland's Autograph Has Been Suspended

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Assistant Referee Who Got Erling Haaland's Autograph Has Been Suspended

The assistant referee who got Erling Haaland's autograph after the Champions League game with Manchester City on Tuesday has been suspended.

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Haaland was unable to get on the scoresheet as Pep Guardiola's won the first leg of their quarter final with Borussia Dortmund earlier this week.

The striker's signature is the most sought after in the world right now and City are expected to try and get it in the summer, with Sergio Aguero leaving the club.

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However it wasn't Guardiola who managed to get Haaland's name on a piece of paper but instead Romanian assistant referee Octavian Sovre, who was caught approaching the striker for his autograph for a charity auction.

There was a lot of criticism of the official's actions, despite him asking in the tunnel after the game and what he probably thought was away from the cameras.

Sovre has now been suspended by the Romanian referee's committee and he won't be officiating any games in this weekend's round of fixtures.

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The matches this weekend are the final round of games in the first part of the season, with the top tier splitting into two groups following the 30th game.

After this weekend the top six and bottom 10 will be split in two, with points from the first half of the season halved, to decide the champions and those who get relegated.

As well as his domestic suspension, UEFA referees chief Roberto Rosetti has criticised the behaviour of the official.

In an email to officials, seen by Sky Sports, Rosetti wrote, "You are responsible for your behaviour and that of your team members when on a UEFA mission.

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"UEFA has strived to get you respected as much as the players and you have helped with that by looking the part: athletic, commanding, respectful and professional.

"If you want to be respected as much as the players, why would you ask for their autograph or their shirt? Do they ask you for the same?

"This is simply unacceptable, this is a matter of dignity and don't forget about the number of TV cameras at UEFA matches - they catch everything."

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It seems particularly harsh criticism of the official, considering the request was for such a good reason, hoping to raise funds for an autism charity.

Sovre also made the request in an area he'd have believed was safe from the public, at worst it was naive to not realise there were television cameras in the tunnel.

Featured Image Credit: BT Sport

Topics: Manchester City, Romania, Football, Erling Haaland, Premier League, Borussia Dortmund, Champions League, Bundesliga

Ryan Sidle
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