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Page last updated at 21:57 GMT, Saturday, 18 December 2010

Leicester boss Eriksson fumes as game played in snow

Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson
Eriksson was unhappy that the game had gone ahead in the first place

Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said his side's game with Ipswich should not have been played after the Foxes lost 3-0 in a Suffolk blizzard.

Referee Stuart Atwell halted play for 17 minutes in the second half to allow snow to be cleared from the pitch so the lines could be made visible.

"You go skiing on snow, not play football," said Eriksson.

"Who wants to see a game in conditions like that? It was being shown worldwide but was very bad PR for football."

Wintry conditions across the British Isles saw four games in each of the Premier League and Championship postponed on Saturday.


But the game at Portman Road, which was shown live on television, went ahead, despite heavy snow before and during the match which completely covered the pitch, with a yellow ball and blue-painted lines also required for the game to be played.

Ipswich, who came into the game on a run of six straight league defeats, scored all three goals in the first half.

Early in the second half, the teams were taken off but returned after 17 minutes in the dressing room to complete the match.

It is not the first time that the 28-year-old referee Stuart Atwell has stirred up controversy.

In 2008, on the advice of referee's assistant Nigel Bannister, Atwell awarded a goal to Reading in their 2-2 draw with Watford despite the fact the ball had gone the wrong side of the goalpost and out for a corner.

"Had it been 0-0 when we had the break, he would have said no more play," said Eriksson of the referee's decision to restart the Ipswich game.

"But at 3-0 to them, it was very difficult for him to do that. When the referee said about taking the break I said, 'You're the boss'.

Ipswich manager Roy Keane said he understood Leicester's frustration but he thought Atwell had made the right call.

"The referee had a tough decision to make and he was put under a lot of pressure by Leicester," said Keane. "That's what you'd expect and if it was the other way round we would have done the same thing.

"But he stuck at it and fair play to him for that. It wasn't easy and he needed to look after the safety of the players. The fact we were three up put him under more pressure but he made the right decision.

"The ball was playing OK and both sets of players did well, but ours adapted better to the conditions."

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see also
Ipswich 3-0 Leicester
19 Dec 10 |  Championship
Snow problems continue for sport
28 Dec 10 |  Sport Homepage
League says no to Watford replay
22 Sep 08 |  Championship

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