Romanian Linesman's Incredible Reason For Why He Requested Erling Haaland's Autograph
Romanian linesman Octavian Sovre candidly asked for Erling Haaland's autograph to auction off for an autism charity.
Now, SOS Autism Bihor Association president Simona Zlibut has defended the Champions League assistant referee against criticisms over his professionalism.
Zlibut told Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor: "That autograph is for a noble cause.
"Maybe people don't know, but Tavi is directly involved in supporting this Association. He has helped us a lot all these years!"
Former City defender Joleon Lescott was critical of Sovre's actions at the time, saying it was a "childish thing to see."
The 38-year-old former England international said: "There's never a right time for that, it just doesn't bode well for the officials. It's a childish thing to see."
Owen Hargreaves echoed similar sentiments to Lescott as he believed that it wasn't right for Sovre to do that in front of the other players.
Speaking on BT Sport, the 40-year-old former Manchester United midfielder said: "You can be a fan, but you can't do that in front of the other players, it just doesn't look right."
Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, defended the Romanian linesman as he didn't see any serious issues with him asking for Haaland's autograph.
The City boss told reporters at the time that Sovre might have been asking for "his son or daughter."
Speaking after the match, Guardiola said: "They told me, I didn't see it, maybe he's a fan.
"Why not? The referees were brilliant, the game was not a problem. Not a penalty, the VAR said that. And the leg is higher from [Jude] Bellingham. So they were perfect and it was correct. Maybe it was for his son or daughter.
"It happens but they did a good job, that's all. Nothing happened."
Dortmund will welcome City to the Westfalenstadion for the second-leg quarter-final clash on 14th April.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/PA
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