Michael Oliver has opened up about the 'humbling' support he has received in the wake of his controversial penalty award in the Champions League quarter finals.
The English referee became the victim of a witch hunt from Juventus' players and fanbase after he chose to give Real Madrid a last-gasp spot kick in their last eight tie with the Italian giants - a decision that allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to fire Los Blancos into the semi finals 4-3 on aggregate with the last kick of the game.
Oliver spoke to the Football Association's website after he was unveiled as the match official set to take charge of the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea next month, and was asked about his feelings over the incident.
And Oliver, who has become one of England's best officials in recent times, admitted that he had been left blown away by the well wishes from people up and down the country following the negative press surrounding the penalty award.
He said: “It was a weird few days. But it was nice that so many people, both within the game and outside the game, were keen to offer their support. It was quite humbling actually and it meant a lot.
“I had people coming up to me in the street and people from inside the game were sending me messages of support. It’s a nice thing to know I’ve got that backing.”
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Oliver and his family were subjected to vitriolic abuse from some sections of Juventus' fanbase for the penalty decision, with his wife Lucy bearing the brunt of a plethora of angry text messages, threats and anti-social behaviour at the family home.
Juve legend Gianluigi Buffon launched a scathing attack on Oliver in the wake of the decision, and has since refused to apologise for his reaction during and after the incident.
Real are on course to make the final after beating Bayern Munich 2-1 in the first leg of their last four clash, with the return fixture at Santiago Bernabeu to come next Tuesday.