Osmo UK employee, Craig Pawson was relaxing on the beach with his family in Mexico when his phone starting pinging uncontrollably – his social media accounts were suddenly inundated with very surprising messages…
In a striking case of mistaken identity, Osmo UK’s Craig Pawson was being confused with English football referee, Craig Pawson, who at that time, had just finished officiating a tense Champions League qualifier between Ajax and PAOK Thessaloniki.
Craig Pawson is an English professional football referee who officiates primarily in the Premier League, having been promoted to the panel of Select Group Referees in 2013, as well as in the Football League.
The match was attended by over 53,000 passionate fans in the Stadium, with many more watching live coverage, many of whom then took to social media to vent their frustrations.
The football official had awarded three penalties to the dismay of many Greek football fans, and the match’s final score ultimately led PAOK to be eliminated from the preliminary rounds of the Champions League.
Fast forward a couple of hours later, when Osmo UK employee, Craig Pawson checked his social media accounts, he found that many people had confused him with the British referee.
Furious PAOK fans were upset at the results and actively targeted those they felt responsible via social media. What they didn’t realise however, was that they had been targeting the wrong Craig Pawson, harassing the Osmo UK employee, his wife, friends and family, rather than the referee, who doesn’t have social media accounts. Perhaps his profile picture holding the Champions League trophy added to the confusion.
But please be assured, Craig was, and still is, happily enjoying sunny Mexico and was not refereeing a football match.
Craig is still currently relaxing on holiday, but says: “This was a complete surprise to me and my family.
"Having looked at the pictures online, I can see there is a resemblance between us and I know how passionate sports fans can be. However, this has put quite a strain on the marketing team back at Osmo UK and I just hope that things settle down now.
"Whilst I love watching football, I’m definitely not a professional referee, and just want to get back to a normal, quiet life. Having had a taste of the passion and anger that this match created, it is no wonder the other Craig Pawson doesn’t have any social media accounts – I wouldn’t want to face that every time I went to work!”
Not only was Craig the target of the hateful comments, but many angry fans took to the Osmo UK social media pages to leave negative reviews about the business; apparently assuming that a professional referee at the top of their international game was at the same time, also holding down a full-time job as Commercial Director for a company selling eco-friendly wood finishes and high quality solid engineered wooden flooring!
The team at Osmo UK has had to temporarily deactivate some social media accounts and are working to try and get the sea of negative and irrelevant reviews removed from their social
media pages. They very much appreciate the support shown by the general public.