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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Referee regrets Lehmann red card
Terje Hauge sends off Jens Lehmann after just 18 minutes in Paris
Hauge could have let Barca's goal stand and not sent off Lehmann
Referee Terje Hauge has admitted he may have acted too quickly in sending off Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann during Barcelona's Champions League triumph.

Hauge dismissed Lehmann in the 18th minute for fouling Samuel Eto'o, with Ludovic Giuly's resulting effort ruled out as Hauge had blown for a free-kick.

"I would have liked to have taken a few more seconds before I made a decision," Hauge told a Norwegian newspaper.

"If I'd done that, I could have given a goal and given a yellow card as well."

In other circumstances I would perhaps have done something different with Lehmann
Referee Terje Hauge

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and captain Thierry Henry have both slammed Hauge's performance in Paris and claimed his decisions favoured the Spanish side.

But the Norwegian said he was pleased with his overall display as Barcelona won the match 2-1 thanks to goals from Eto'o and Juliano Belletti.

And he said the Lehmann incident was a difficult one to judge after the German became the first player to be sent off in a European Cup final.

He added: "We had full control of the match and all in all I'm quite happy with my performance.

"Under other circumstances I would perhaps have done something different with Lehmann, but this mostly rested on the positioning in relation to the situation.

"Everything happens quickly on the pitch and for me it looked as if there was physical contact.

"As well as that it happened in the linesman's working area and I had no reason to doubt him in this instance.

"It was obviously a big game for Arsenal, and to lose is a huge disappointment so I understand their frustration. But we'll have to give it a few days so we can discuss this more sensibly."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter criticised the referee's decision to send off Lehmann.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "My opinion is that, when in certain actions - and not only in front of the goalmouth, but everywhere - he should let the advantage, finish the action and then he can come back and whistle.

"He was too fast."

SEE ALSO
Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal
17 May 06 |  Europe


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