UEFA warn match officials that asking players for autographs is ‘unacceptable and undignified’ after linesman gets Erling Haaland to sign his red and yellow cards in tunnel after Manchester City’s win over Borussia Dortmund
- Octavian Sovre was criticised for requesting Erling Haaland’s signature in tunnel
- The official approached the Dortmund star after their European tie against City
- But the Romanian has been collecting souvenirs from footballers for five years
- He auctions them off to raise money for a charity supporting those with autism
UEFA has told match officials it is unacceptable and undignified to seek autographs from players, after a referee’s assistant asked Erling Haaland to sign red and yellow cards following Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League game at Manchester City.
UEFA’s chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti wrote to refereeing teams after the incident in the tunnel at the Etihad on Tuesday night was caught on camera as the players left the field following Dortmund’s 2-1 loss.
‘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,’ Rosetti wrote on Wednesday in correspondence first reported by British broadcaster Sky Sports and verified by UEFA.
Assistant referee Octavian Sovre asked for Erling Haaland’s autograph in the tunnel at Etihad
‘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.’
It was later reported in his native Romania that Octavian Sovre, the referee’s assistant at City, wanted the signed cards to raise funds for an autism center.
The Dortmund striker put his arm round the official as he was approached by him in the tunnel before signing his pad