Monday 23 April 2018

'The content remains and I stand by all of it' - Gianluigi Buffon refuses to back down on Michael Oliver criticism

Juventus' Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (L) argues with the referee during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Real Madrid CF and Juventus FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZOOSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images
Juventus' Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (L) argues with the referee during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Real Madrid CF and Juventus FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZOOSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he stands by his stinging criticism of English referee Michael Oliver after the controversial finish to last Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.

Oliver awarded a penalty to Madrid deep into injury time, which Cristiano Ronaldo converted to eliminate the Italian champions in what was Buffon's last ever appearance in the competition.

The legendary goalkeeper was then sent off by Oliver after jostling the official in an irate state while protesting the decision.

Gary Lineker was one of many to call on Buffon to step in after the referee and his wife were subjected to vile social media abuse, but speaking to Italian TV over the weekend, the Juventus captain was in no mood for reconciliation.

"The content remains and I stand by all of it," Buffon said in quotes reported by the BBC

"I'd say them all again - maybe with a different type of language.

"You find a way to speak, right or wrong, that at times can seem excessive - but this is me, I am Gigi Buffon."

The goalkeeper added that he felt that Oliver lacked the necessary experience to referee a game of that magnitude.

"I'm sure Oliver will have a great career in future, but he's too young to officiate a match like that," the goalkeeper added.

"A referee with more experience would not have blown his whistle and decided not to become the protagonist of the match.

"He would have left it running, turned around and let the two teams fight it out in extra time. Let the pitch do the talking."

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