Romanian assistant referee Octavian Sovre's decision to ask Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland to autograph his yellow and red cards raised some eyebrows but the charity that is set to benefit from a cash boost are not complaining.
The signed cards were donated to the SOS Autism Bihor centre and Simona Zlibut, who oversees a therapy centre set up by parents, said they will be auctioned later this month on Facebook.
"The red and yellow-signed cards which my kindergarten classmate Octavian donated to our SOS Autism Bihor centre will be used for a noble cause," she told Reuters.
Zlibut's 21-year-old daughter is autistic and she said the centre depends on donations.
"My little girl doesn't know when to go to the bathroom, she cannot eat alone ... costs are enormous," she said.
It is not normal protocol for match officials to ask players for autographs after games.
UEFA's chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti wrote to refereeing teams after the incident in the tunnel in Manchester on Tuesday night was caught on camera as the players left the field following Dortmund's 2-1 loss.
"UEFA has strived to get you respected as much as the players and you have helped with that by looking the part: athletic, commanding, respectful and professional," Rosetti wrote Wednesday in correspondence first reported by British broadcaster Sky Sports and verified by UEFA.
"If you want to be respected as much as the players, why would you ask for their autograph or their shirt? Do they ask you for the same? This is simply unacceptable, this is a matter of dignity and don't forget about the number of TV cameras at UEFA matches -- they catch everything.''
Zlibut added the money raised by the auction is to aid therapy of 30 autistic people aged below 47 at the centre in the western city of Oradea, on the border with Hungary.
"The state gives me for my daughter, 500 lei [$120.61] per month," she said. "One cannot imagine what I can we do with this meagre sum ... we, parents, rely on donations, we auction skirts, photographs, autographs, whatever we get, to make up for the huge shortfall."
Zlibut also said that former footballers such as Gheorghe Hagi and goalkeeper Helmuth Duckadam, who was in the Steaua Bucharest team that won the European Cup in 1986, had helped the centre in the past.