Chelsea supporters write to Tom Henning Ovrebo’s psychology clinic

May 7, 2009 | Filed Under: Blog 
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tom_henning-death-threats Tom Henning Ovrebo, 42, was given a police escort immediately after the west London side crashed out of the Champions League semi-final last night.

He then changed his hotel amid fears he would be found by furious Chelsea fans, before officials organised his secret exit from Britain this morning.

Today police in his home city of Oslo were investigating after death threats were made on the internet. His home address was published, amid warnings that fans will “hunt him” and “kill him”.

Former international referee Graham Poll said today: “This morning he’s being smuggled out of our country – this is a referee of a football match. That is a disgrace.

Chelsea today issued a statement saying they would “take the strongest action” against any fans found to have threatened Ovrebo – but denied they nor the police had received any evidence of threats against the Norwegian.

The statement read: “Following media reports claiming threats have been made against the referee of last night’s game, Chelsea Football Club would like to make clear that it condemns any form of threat against players, officials or supporters

On Yahoo! Answers, a user posted his address in Oslo, while threats were made on Chelsea fans’ forums including CFCnet and The Shed End. One fan wrote: “I want that ref assaulted” while another said: “I will kill him.”

An Oslo police spokesman said: “We are watching closely what is being posted on the internet. Anything we believe would threaten his personal safety will be taken seriously.”

Laurence Slavin, who runs online Chelsea fansite the Shed End, said:

“We were absolutely not condoning these kinds of posts and were doing all we could to remove them and ban or warn members for making them.

“We deleted posts that tried to provide contact details for the ref. I personally made posts telling people it wasn’t acceptable, we removed posts with references to violence toward the ref and a number of our regulars made posts stating it was unacceptable behaviour.”

Former ref Poll blamed the players for stoking the fans’ anger, branding Drogba and Ballack’s behaviour “a dreadful display of petulance”.

He said stewards at Chelsea had failed to step in quickly enough to protect the referee.

A spokesman for European footballing body UEFA said: “This is obviously a concern for us.”

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