Tom Henning Øvrebø

Tom Henning Øvrebø
Full name Tom Henning Øvrebø
Born (1966-06-26) 26 June 1966
Oslo, Norway
Other occupation Psychologist
Years League Role
1992–2013 Tippeligaen Referee
Years League Role
1994–2010 FIFA Referee

Tom Henning Øvrebø (born 26 June 1966) is a Norwegian former football referee. Born in Oslo, Øvrebø has been a UEFA Elite referee,[1] having refereed matches in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League. He has worked as a qualified psychologist outside of football.[2]


Øvrebø has refereed over 200 games in the Norwegian Premier League since his debut on 20 September 1992. He represents the club Nordstrand. In 1994, he became an authorised FIFA referee. He won the Kniksen award as referee of the year in the Norwegian Premier League for 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. He refereed the Norwegian Cup finals of 1999 (RosenborgBrann) and 2006 (FredrikstadSandefjord).

Øvrebø was chosen to referee at Euro 2008 — his first major tournament and the first time he was chosen over fellow countryman and colleague Terje Hauge. He refereed the GermanyPoland match on the opening day of Group B. He refereed the ItalyRomania match, which resulted in a 1–1 draw.[3]

Subsequently, Øvrebø was one of six referees not assigned a match in the knockout stages of Euro 2008.

Øvrebø handled the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Barcelona on 6 May 2009.[4] He was verbally abused by several Chelsea players on the field, including Didier Drogba and José Bosingwa.[5][6] Øvrebø was later escorted out of England by police in fears for his safety after receiving a number of death threats. Chelsea distanced themselves from these threats "Following media reports claiming threats have been made against the referee, Chelsea Football Club would like to make clear that it condemns any form of threat against players, officials or supporters".[7] Drogba was subsequently banned for four matches, while Bosingwa was banned for three matches. Chelsea were fined £85,000 for improper conduct on the part of Chelsea players and fans.[8] Øvrebø has admitted he is still the subject of abuse from Chelsea fans.[9]

In the group stages of qualification for the 2010 World Cup, Øvrebø refereed the Armenia-Turkey, Belgium-Spain and the Slovakia-Czech Republic matches. On 10 October 2009, Øvrebø refereed the Greece-Latvia match.[10] Øvrebø was among the 14 pre-selected referees from UEFA for the final stages in South Africa,[11] but did not make the final cut of 10 representatives from Europe.[12]

He ended his international career debut in May 2010 but continued to officiate in the Norwegian Premier League.[13] During the 2013 season, Øvrebø only officiated matches in the Norwegian Cup and the Norwegian First Division due to a knee-injury.

In October 2013, Øvrebø announced his retirement from professional refereeing.[14]


  1. UEFA har offentliggjort sin nye rangeringsliste for dommere. (2009-12-22). Retrieved on 2012-05-18.
  2. Factsheet 2 – Korrektur UEFA Euro 2008
  3. Norwegian referee: – I was wrong. (2008-06-15). Retrieved on 2012-05-18.
  4. Referee from Chelsea's 2009 home tie with Barcelona still given abuse. Guardian (2012-04-05). Retrieved on 2012-11-16.
  5. Police worried for ref Ovrebo ESPN Soccernet (2009-05-07)
  6. "Bosingwa Retracts Thief Claim". Sky Sports. 2009-05-07. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  7. Jackson, Jamie (2009-05-08). "Death threats force the referee Tom Henning Ovrebo into hiding". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
  8. "Drogba given lengthy European ban". BBC Sport. 2009-05-18.
  9. "'I still get abuse from Chelsea fans for the 2009 semi-final against Barcelona' - referee Tom Henning Ovrebo". 6 April 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  10. Starkovs: "Pendeles tur nebija". (2009-10-11). Retrieved on 2012-05-18.
  11. List of prospective 2010 FIFA World Cup referees
  12. Referees with Assistant Referees
  13. Johannessen, Sturla (18 May 2010). "Øvrebø gir seg som FIFA-dommer" (in Norwegian). TV 2 Sporten. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  14. "Øvrebø legger opp som fotballdommer". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
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