Uefa strongly condemns social media abuse suffered by ref Oliver

European football governing body Uefa has condemned the abuse directed at English referee Michael Oliver and his family after he sent off Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon during their Champions League quarter-final defeat to Real Madrid last week.

Oliver and his wife Lucy have been sent threatening text messages to their personal phones and on social media, while police are investigating reports that some people have shouted through their letterbox at home.

The couple have been targeted after Oliver awarded a last-minute penalty against Juventus and then sent off experienced Italy goalkeeper Buffon, 40, for dissent in the second-leg of a quarter-final at the Bernabeu. Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo converted the penalty to knock Juventus, who had impressively clawed back a three goal deficit, out of the competition.

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"Uefa strongly condemns the abuse directed at Michael Oliver and his wife," read a Uefa statement.

"We have been in contact with them to offer our support and we trust the relevant authorities to take action against those individuals who have behaved inappropriately both on and off social media."

Oliver was lambasted by Buffon after the match who said that the 33-year-old referee had a "bag of rubbish for a heart".

Despite being criticised for his comments the World Cup winner doubled down on Saturday by saying: "The content remains and I stand by all of it."

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