Man United hero Cristiano Ronaldo warned by Newcastle official in heated Saudi Arabia battle
Cristiano Ronaldo was shown a yellow card by this Newcastle official during Al-Nassr’s defeat to city rivals Al-Hilal.
and live on Freeview channel 276
One of the Premier League’s top match officials was cherry-picked by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation this week.
Al-Hilal, who were defeated 5-0 by Newcastle United during their trip to Saudi Arabia in December, won 2-0 following a brace by former Manchester United striker Odion Igalho.
The match hit the international headlines after Oliver yellow-carded Ronaldo - who had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside - for pulling down opponent Gustavo Cuellar to ground by his neck.
Oliver is understood to have been given permission to travel to Saudi Arabia after the request was approved by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).
PGMOL chief Howard Webb had previously worked in Gulf Kingdom, serving as the country’s director of referees from 2015 until 2017.
Indeed, it is not the first time that the Saudi Pro League has appointed a high-profile European official. In March, Al-Nassr’s match against Al Ittihad was refereed by Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.
Oliver has returned to England to referee Liverpool v Nottingham Forest this weekend before overseeing a potential Premier League title decider between Manchester City and Arsenal.
The 38-year-old is unable to referee games involving Newcastle after revealing to the PGMOL he is a Magpies supporter.
“I never referee Newcastle games,” Oliver said previously. “We have to declare if we have an allegiance to any club – or if a family member works at a club. You can’t do any match involving that team, and I can’t do Sunderland, either, for obvious reasons.
“Because Newcastle are invariably involved in a relegation battle, when you get to March or April, it means I can’t referee anyone around them towards the bottom three.
“If Newcastle needed a point to survive, and the team they were fighting to get above was, say, Villa, I couldn’t referee Villa’s game either.”
Get the latest Newcastle United headlines with our free football newsletter! Follow the action from St James’ Park and beyond as we bring the sport news to you. Visit our website here to sign up.