Michael Oliver: Police investigate text threats against referee’s wife

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    Michael Oliver sent off Gianluigi Buffon after he protested Oliver awarding Real Madrid an injury-time penalty

    This story has tweets that contain swearing and language that users may find offensive.

    Police are investigating threatening text messages sent to the wife of top flight referee Michael Oliver.

    Oliver awarded a last-minute penalty as Real Madrid knocked Juventus out of the Champions League on Wednesday and was criticised by Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon and some Italian media.

    BBC Sport understands Oliver’s wife Lucy – a Women’s Super League referee who also officiates men’s non-league football – had her mobile number posted on social media after the game, which led to the abusive texts.

    Police are also looking into reports of people banging on the front door of the couple’s home address and shouting abuse through their letterbox.

    Officers have now deactivated the phone number, although Lucy Oliver’s social media account has also been targeted by some supporters.

    BBC Sport has compiled some of the examples of the abuse on Twitter. These Tweets contain swearing and language that users may find offensive.

    The elite referee’s body, the PGMOL, said it was supporting the Olivers and “condemned the abuse Lucy has received on social media”.

    In a dramatic end to the match at the Bernabeu in Madrid, Juventus captain and Italy international Buffon was sent off for confronting Oliver over the 93rd-minute penalty decision.

    He later told media the English official had a “bag of rubbish for a heart”.

    On Saturday, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri defended the 40-year-old goalkeeper, saying he “understood” his reaction and describing him as a “role model on and off the pitch” for the “last 20 years”.

    “If on one occasion he said the things he did, in a situation as tough as Wednesday night’s, that is understandable and I challenge anyone to react differently,” said Allegri.

    European football’s governing body Uefa has not yet commented on the matter.

    Oliver refereed Huddersfield’s late win over Watford in the Premier League on Saturday and is due to take charge of West Ham v Stoke City on Monday night.

    In response to the online abuse of Mrs Oliver, some Italian football fans started a twitter hashtag #ItaliaLovesMichaelOliver backing the official, which got 6,000 tweets in 24 hours on Thursday.

    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker believes Buffon should apologise for his post-match comments
    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43771452


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