Police have been called to investigate threatening messages sent to the wife of referee Michael Oliver after Juventus’ Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.
Oliver awarded a stoppage time penalty for Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg, and then sent off goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, before Cristiano Ronaldo converted the spot-kick to send the La Liga side through to the semi-finals.
Buffon launched an extraordinary rant against Oliver in a post-match interview, but there has also been a more sinister side to the fall-out.
These vituperous attacks on Michael Oliver and his wife are repugnant. Big admirer of Buffon but his behaviour since has been inflammatory and out of order. Oliver was doing his job and hard to argue against his decisions. Understand the emotion but time to defuse it, Gianluigi.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 14, 2018
Oliver’s wife, Lucy – a referee herself – has been sent abusive text messages, while there have also been incidents at the couple’s house.
Referee’s body, the PGMOl, said it “condemned the abuse Lucy has received on social media”.
Meanwhile, Buffon has defended his comments in the wake of the game, when he claimed that Oliver had a “bag of rubbish for a heart”.
“I have to defend my team-mates and fans, even in a not very composed fashion. I had to let that out, even if it damaged my reputation,” he said.
“You find a way to speak, right or wrong, that at times can seem excessive – but this is me, I am Gigi Buffon.
“I’d say them all again – maybe with a different type of language, one that was more civilised, let’s say. The content remains and I stand by all of it.”