Aston Villa's Jack Grealish shares thoughts on Erling Haaland controversy

  • Tom Kelly
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland

Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has offered his opinion on linesman Octavian Sovre obtaining Erling Haaland's autograph. 

What happened between Sovre and Haaland? 

On Tuesday evening, Manchester City welcomed Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad for the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League. 

That night, the Citizens recorded a 2-1 victory but following the game, something rather interesting occurred. 

In a bizarre turn of events, the linesman approached Haaland in the tunnel and asked the striker for his autograph. A photo soon emerged online of the Norwegian signing the official's yellow card. 

How have people reacted?

Following the incident, the picture did the rounds on social media, and Sovre's antics certainly split opinions amongst fans. 

During BT Sport's live coverage of the game, ex-footballer Owen Hargreaves had his say, as quoted by 90min

"They had a difficult first half and they got a lot of things wrong. You can be a fan, but you can't do that in front of the other players, it just doesn't look right."

What was Jack Grealish's take? 

The Villa starlet responded to the Sky Sports journalist Paul Gilmour's tweet which clarified the situation.

"I don’t get why it’s even a problem if he did it after the game?" Grealish shared with a raised eyebrow emoji

Jack Grealish tweet about Erling Haaland

What are the latest developments? 

Gilmour indicated on social media that he had spoken to the Romanian FA regarding the recent Champions League incident. 

They informed the reporter that Sovre asked for an autograph to raise funds for an autism centre that he helps. 

A Romanian newspaper named Gazeta Sporturilor has also revealed that the referee has collected a number of signatures from top players in the past five years to help this particular cause. 

Was Sovre right or wrong? 

Personally, I don't see an issue with it. 

The game was finished and the linesman waited until Haaland entered the tunnel to ask for his signature. It would have been an entirely different situation if Sovre had asked for his signature immediately after the game whilst still on the pitch. 

He waited for what he likely thought was a moment of privacy and asked Haaland for a favour. Given his motives, the criticism seems very harsh. 

News Now - Sport News