BBC News Online BBC World Service BBC Homepage
BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport - Euro 2000
 You are in:  Euro2000
Front Page 
Results/Fixtures 
Teams 
Fans Guide 
Sportstalk 
AudioVideo 
The BBC Team 
Photo Gallery 

Wednesday, 28 June, 2000, 22:18 GMT 23:18 UK
Portugal coach resigns
Humberto Coelho
Portuguese coach Humberto Coelho is stepping down
Humberto Coelho announced he was stepping down as Portuguese coach after his team was beaten by France in a dramatic Euro 2000 semi-final.

"From July 31 I will no longer be Portuguese coach," he announced.

He told reporters: "I think now is a good time to let you know.

"We need time to prepare for the next battle to have a new coach. I wish all the best to my successor."

The 50-year-old coach admitted he was bitterly disappointed to have crashed out to Zinedine Zidane's late penalty and said he felt Sylvain Wiltord's shot had struck Abel Xavier's hand accidentally.



It was a shame to go out like that but we played really well and France are a great team

Portugal coach Humberto Coelho
"The shot was so close to him that he could not take his hand out of the way. But it is the referee's decision.

"It was a shame to go out like that but we played really well and France are a great team."

"I am not sure it was a penalty or not. Maybe if it had happened against France we would be happy.

"But it was sad to finish the game this way. It was a very good performance by my team."


Anelka and Couto
Nicholas Anelka and Fernando Couto clash in mid-air

Perhaps not surprisingly, French coach Roger Lemerre believed the penalty decision was the right one.

Lemerre said: "This was a great moment of refereeing. He was just applying the rules. The referee has intervened and the rules must be respected."

Matchwinner Zidane added that he was not distracted the protests which followed referee Guenter Benko's controversial late decision.

Zidane stayed cool under pressure to rifle home the golden goal penalty decider and said: "A penalty in extra time with the golden goal rule is a great responsibility but everything went well."

He added: "When the ball was on the spot I didn't ask myself any questions. I had to shoot.

"I was just concentrating on hitting it hard enough. but it's not always easy to get rid of everthing happening around you."



I was just concentrating on hitting it hard enough. but it's not always easy to get rid of everthing happening around you

Zinedine Zidane
Zidane also felt referee Benko was right to point to the spot, giving him the chance to seal France's passage.

Zidane said: "Apparently, TV replays show it was the correct decision. I could not see.

"It was a very difficult match. You can't say that the Portuguese did not deserve to be in the final as much as we did."

Defender Marcel Desailly said: "We were not lucky. We did enough to show that we were the better team. We made the right substitutes at the right time."

And midfielder Patrick Vieira said: "I think it was the mental strength of our group that made the difference."

Search BBC Euro 2000

 

See also:

28 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Zidane sends France through
29 Jun 00 | Portugal
Xavier angry at penalty decision
28 Jun 00 | Euro2000
France v Portugal clockwatch
28 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
France v Portugal in pictures
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

^^ Back to top
Front Page | Results/Fixtures | Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Knockout | Teams | Sportstalk | Fans' Guide | AudioVideo | Photo Gallery