NYON: UEFA has reminded its referees they must never request autographs from players, after an assistant, Romanian Octavian Sovre, asked Erling Haaland to sign the yellow and red cards following Tuesday’s Champions League tie between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.

Roberto Rosetti, the European federation’s referees manager, has written to all officials saying that if they want to be respected they should not ask players for autographs.

He added: “It is unacceptable, it is a matter of dignity and do not forget the number of TV cameras in European matches.”

Sovre wanted Haaland’s autograph cards to raise money for a charitable cause, said Simona Zlibut, supervisor of the SOS Autism Bihor center.

Zlibut’s daughter is autistic and her mother explains that the centre, to which Octavian Sovre gave the autographs, depends on donations.

A friend of Sovre has said the cards are likely be auctioned later this month to help support the charity.