Outrage over official's 'shocking' request for Champions League star

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·Sports Reporter
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Erling Haaland (pictured middle right) appearing to sign an object for assistant referee Octavian Sovre (pictured middle left).
Fans erupted after it appeared assistant referee Octavian Sovre (pictured middle left) asked Erling Haaland (pictured middle right) to sign an object following the Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund clash. (Image: BT Sport)

Football fans have been left bewildered after the referee's assistant appeared to ask star Erling Haaland for an autograph after the whistle in the Champions League match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.

City played out an entertaining, but controversial, 2-1 win over Dortmund in the first-leg of their quarter-final Champions League clash.

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But the football community was left bewildered after linesman Octavian Sovre appeared to ask young Dortmund star Haaland for an autograph after the whistle.

Haaland was filmed signing an object.

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves said it wasn't a good look for the assistant referee.

“They had a difficult first-half and they got a lot of things wrong," he said on BT Sport.

“You can be a fan, but you can’t do that in front of the other players, it just doesn’t look right.”

Former Everton defender Joleon Lescott agreed during the broadcast.

“There’s never a right time for that, it just doesn’t bode well for the officials. It’s a childish thing to see," he said.

Most fans agreed with the former Premier League stars.

Fans defend linesman after Haaland autograph 

Not everyone was critical of the assistant referee for his actions.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola had no issue with his actions after he said the officials had a good game.

"They told me – I didn’t see it," Guardiola said of the controversy. "Maybe he’s a fan of Haaland so why not?

"Maybe it was for his son and daughter. I’ve never seen it before but they did a good job.

"The referees were brilliant, the game was not a problem so it's not a penalty after the VAR, people told me it was not a penalty.

Jude Bellingham tackles goalkeeper Ederson to win the ball.
Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund tackles Ederson of Manchester City to win the ball, but had his goal ruled out for the challenge during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

"And after the Bellingham action, his leg is higher than expected so the linesman was perfect. It was not an influence like it was in the past."

But many fans were critical of the referees and VAR after Dortmund appeared to have a goal ruled out incorrectly after it was deemed youngster Jude Bellingham fouled Ederson.

But replays appeared to show there was not initial contact and the goal could have potentially stood.

The German outfit will return in the second-leg needing to overturn the one-goal deficit.

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