Champions League official Octavian Sovre chased Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland to a tunnel asking for an autograph after the defeat to Manchester City in the first leg of the quarter-finals. Later the act created a controversy slamming the referee for “unprofessional behavior”. The real reason of Haaland autograph controversy has been revealed.
The incident was recorded on cameras where Haaland is seen singing the referee’s card in the tunnel, this has been considered a bizarre moment of Champions League.
— Andrew Edgeworth (@RogerDismal) April 6, 2021
It is now reported that Sovre requested the Dortmund striker to sign his card for a charitable purpose. Recent reports suggest that Sovre collects autographs from leading sports stars in order to auction them off for a charity in his native Romania that supports young adults suffering from severe autism.
Former Premier League stars Owen Hargreaves and Joleon Lescott, slammed the official’s actions, stating that the incident does not look right, rather “childish”. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola also reacted to the referee’s actions saying, “Maybe he’s a fan of Haaland so why not?”
Have spoken to Romanian FA about the match officials/Haaland autograph. They say Octavian Sovre did it to raise funds for an autism centre he helps with. More info on @SkySportsNews
— Paul Gilmour (@skysportspaulg) April 7, 2021
The revelation of the reason behind the referee asking an autograph to a star player has left people in shock who criticized the humble act and made it Haaland autograph controversy. As quoted by Goal, SOS Autism Bihor Association president Simona Zlibut told Gazeta Sporturilor: “That autograph is for a noble cause. Maybe people don’t know, but Tavi (Sovre) is directly involved in supporting this Association. He has helped us a lot all these years!”.
Erling Haaland is a prolific Borussia Dortmund player and has emerged as the greatest footballer at a young age. The 21-year-old young talent has scored 34 goals in 37 competitive games for Borussia Dortmund since joining the club in 2020 from Red Bull Salzburg.