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By ESPN Staff

Referee: 'Lehmann red might have been hasty'

Referee Terje Hauge has admitted he may have acted too hastily in sending off Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in the Champions League final against Barcelona.

Lehmann saw red after 18 minutes in Paris following a challenge on Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o just outside the area. The loose ball fell to Ludovic Giuly, who slotted it into an empty net.

Many observers felt Hauge should have used the advantage rule, given the goal and allowed Lehmann to stay on the pitch.

And the Norwegian has now conceded he should perhaps have thought things over before reaching for the red card.

'We had full control of the match and all in all I'm quite happy with my performance,' Hauge told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.

'The match started well, then obviously there was the incident with the sending-off. At this point I would have liked to have taken a few more seconds before I made my decision.'

Hauge, who will not referee at this summer's World Cup in Germany, put this haste down to the fact he was 'incredibly focused.'

'The ideal thing would have been to wait a few seconds,' he continued.

'If I'd done that, I could have given the goal and eventually given a yellow card. Of course everyone wants a goal, so this was a key situation.'

Yet Hauge is adamant he had every right to show the red card to Lehmann.

'Under other circumstances I would perhaps have done something different, but this mostly rested on the positioning in relation to the situation,' Hauge said.

'Everything happens quickly on the pitch and for me it looked as if there was physical contact. As well as that it happened in the linesman's working area and I had no reason to doubt him in this instance.

'It was obviously a big game for Arsenal, and to lose is a huge disappointment. So I can understand their frustration. But we'll have to give it a few days so we can discuss this more sensibly.'

UEFA director of communications William Gaillard told PA Sport: 'Hauge's performances have been very good all year round.

'He is not on the list for the World Cup but neither is Herbert Fandel, who did a very good job in the UEFA Cup final, because Germany already have one referee at the finals (Markus Merk).

'Of course the referees' committee always assesses the official's performance, we had an assessor at the match.'

Gaillard added on BBC Radio Five Live: 'Perhaps if he had waited half a second more, if he had been less quick, we could have had a different outcome.

'These are the circumstances of life, but technically he was right.'