Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen came recently in focus after the World Cup qualifying showdown between Iceland and Finland. The Finns were leading 2-1 as the match approached the end, but Iceland turned around in extra-time and eventually won 3-2. The winning goal was controversial: Ragnar Sigurdsson headed the ball towards the opposing goal, but it was not clear, even after TV replays, whether the ball crossed over the goal line or not.
The Norwegian referee team chose to award the goal, which led to violent protests by the Finnish players. Finland captain Moisander reacted by grabbing referee Moen’s jersey at the neck height (photo). Moen responded with a yellow card, but UEFA have reacted in hindsight. They believe the decision to not send off Moisander was such a big mistake that he was removed from a planned European Cup assignment afterwards. “When a referee does something wrong, it will affect him”, said Moen to TV2 Sport. The 37-year-old referee has since 2010 belonged to the "Elite" category of the European referees, who figures regularly in the Champions League and Europa League, in addition to major championships and qualifiers. This season, Moen has yet to referee a Champions League match. He appeared in Matchday 1 of the Europa League, Mainz – St. Etienne (1-1), and was planned for Matchday 3, but, in the wake of the Iceland – Finland game, he was removed and he is not assigned any game in Matchday 4 either. Moen will not be in action during the World Cup qualifiers next week. Asked whether he is afraid of losing his “elite” status, he responded “I am not thinking of that right now”.
Source: TV2 Sport