UEFA 'strongly condemns' Michael Oliver abuse


Last week, Oliver opted to award Real Madrid a last-minute penalty against Juventus in the Champions league, with Cristiano Ronaldo's conversion resulting in Juventus' exit from the competition.

Oliver, 33, initially found himself in the firing line when Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was sent off after he protested furiously against the penalty decision, hit out in a post-match interview.

"You find a way to speak, right or wrong, that at times can seem excessive - but this is me, I am Gigi Buffon". I am in harmony with the club, I go on vacation when the transfer window opens because I trust the club completely. It was a week that allowed me to experience strong emotions, beautiful, pure adrenaline.

Italy icon Buffon has said this will be his last season and he announced his worldwide retirement after Italy's dramatic failure to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time in 60 years.

The 50-year-old is one of the most respected and highly-rated coaches in Europe - both Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly monitoring his situation in Turin.

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Standing on its hind legs, the bear can be seen holding onto the ball while standing beside the pitch, moments before kick-off. Brian da Cal, country director of charity Four Paws UK, said forcing bears to perform can be stressful for the animals.

Buffon said on Saturday that he "stands by everything he said" about Oliver, but added that he "would use different tones".

Meanwhile, Italian referees' chief Marcello Nicchi criticised Buffon earlier Monday for his post-match rant.

"Buffon is a great champion who I hope will go on to have a great managerial career, but at certain levels you have to be careful about what you say". There are always kids listening. They can't be threatened either before, during, or after the game.

"I think a young referee was sent to officiate an important match, although he's already well established and has shown his courage".

"Uefa strongly condemns the abuse directed at Michael Oliver and his wife", said European football's governing body in a statement to BBC Sport.