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Arsenal 15:00 Chelsea

Bosingwa retracts 'thief' claim

Blues defender regrets referee blast

By Elliot Ball.   Last Updated: 08/05/09 12:24pm

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Bosingwa: Retracted comments

Bosingwa: Retracted comments

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Jose Bosingwa admits he regrets calling referee Tom Henning Ovrebo 'a thief' after Chelsea's UEFA Champions league exit to Barcelona.

Bosingwa was at the heart of Wednesday's post-match controversy as the Portuguese full-back joined team-mate Didier Drogba is labelling Ovrebo as a 'disgrace' for his officiating in the Blues' second-leg clash with Barca.

Guus Hiddink's side had four penalty appeals snubbed by the Norwegian official at Stamford Bridge before Andres Iniesta's stoppage-time equaliser saw the Catalan giants progress to the final of Europe's premier club competition on the away goals rule.

A series of furious outbursts ensued, including Bosingwa's rant, but the Chelsea man has now retracted his claims.

In a statement issued on behalf of the player to the Portuguese media, Bosingwa said: "We were all very disappointed and frustrated after the game, but I regret describing the referee as a thief. Having had some time to reflect I would like to withdraw those comments."

True Gentleman

Meanwhile Barca coach Pep Guardiola has praised captain John Terry for his behaviour after Wednesday night's last-four defeat.

Despite being Terry's fourth semi-final exit in the competition the Blues and England skipper visited the Barcelona dressing room and shook hands with each member of their playing and coaching staff.

It was an act of sportsmanship for which the Barca team and staff applauded him out of the room.

"I want to thank John Terry for coming into the dressing room and congratulating us," said Guardiola. "He's a true gentleman."

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