8 May 2009

Chelsea conspiracy theory dismissed

12:17 pm on 8 May 2009

UEFA General Secretary David Taylor has slammed the conspiracy theorists who believe Chelsea's controversial exit from the Champions League reflected the European football governing body's desire to avoid another all-English final.

Several Chelsea players believe that might explain the erratic refereeing of their semi-final second leg against Barcelona.

The Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo's failure to award any of the London club's four strong penalty appeals effectively cost them a chance to avenge last season's final defeat by Manchester United.

Ovrebo made a string of errors but Barcelona were also victims with Eric Abidal sent off for tripping Nicolas Anelka, who actually tripped himself up.

Taylor says he's angered by the implication UEFA would try to influence the outcome of a match and former top referee Graham Poll says it's 99.9 percent certain there's no conspiracy.