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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 19:50 GMT 20:50 UK
Linesman ejected from Paris final
Barcelona and Arsenal badges
One of the linesmen for the Champions League final has been replaced after being photographed wearing a Barcelona shirt on Monday.

Norwegian Ole Hermann Borgan wore the shirt for a photoshoot with his local newspaper, Drammens Tidende.

Borgan had insisted he would remain impartial and Uefa initially stuck by him before deciding to replace him with his compatriot Arild Sundet.

Sundet is not yet in Paris, but will be flown in on Wednesday morning.

The newspaper wanted Borgan to wear both Arsenal and Barcelona shirts for the photoshoot, according to its sports editor Per Jan Brekke.

There is an unwritten rule that officials must not do anything which will cast doubt on their impartiality
Rune Pedersen
Norway's referees' chief

But the official found out he only owned a Barca shirt - and this was the picture that appeared in Tuesday's edition of the paper.

"It was both insensitive and stupid of me. I did not think deeply enough about the situation and the consequences when I was asked to dress up in the shirt," Borgan said.

"But there is no reason to doubt my impartiality - I don't support either of the teams."

Norway's referees chief, Rune Pedersen, agreed that Borgan had been unwise to pose in the shirt.

"There is an unwritten rule that officials must not do anything which will cast doubt on their impartiality," he said.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had earlier played down the incident, saying: "I never go into a game looking at the referees.

"I always have a positive feeling about them. They always do the job as well as they can and in an honest way.

"The fact that one of the guys is pictured in a Barcelona shirt doesn't change my mind."

And his Barca counterpart Frank Rijkaard added: "Arsenal should give him a shirt straight away and take a photo. Then we will be levelled.

"I really don't think it makes any difference, as far as I know he was on holiday."

The officials for the final will all be Norwegian, with Hauge the main man in charge and Steinar Holvik and Sundet running the lines.

Hauge was critical of Borgan but said he understood why he had posed for the picture.

He explained: "It was a stupid thing to do but I can assure you he did it in pure joy at being picked for this game.

"There was no intention to bring speculation that he is a Barcelona supporter. He put a shirt on to symbolise the final.

"He has never been a Barca fan. It was a stupid slip which he regrets a lot."



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