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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Uefa slams English press
Swiss referee Urs Meier
Uefa has defended referee Urs Meier's decision to disallow Sol Campbell's header in England's loss to Portugal.

The referees' committee has produced television pictures which it claimed supported the Swiss official's verdict.

And it blasted sections of the English media for the treatment of Meier following England's Euro 2004 exit.

"The way some of the English press have blamed Urs Meier after a correct decision is completely unacceptable," said committee president Volker Roth.

"To go into his private life, to show his wife, his car and put an England flag on his house is unacceptable.

"If the press reacts in this way we must reconsider and say clearly and openly this is not a good way."

Some English newspapers published Meier's telephone number and email address after he disallowed Campbell's header in the dying minutes of England's quarter-final defeat to Portugal.

Meier said he had been badly disturbed by the reaction to his decision.

"It is a heavy attack, it's not the right way to deal with such decisions," he said.

"The phone has been ringing constantly all day and night. The email is blocked, the office is blocked.

"I feel it is not the right way to handle a decision, whether it was right or wrong. It is not right to go into the private life of the referee.

I was 100% certain it was a foul and it was correct to rule out the goal
Urs Meier
"The referee must be protected from the journalists, from all people. He is the only man in the field who is really neutral and I have not been protected from the English newspapers."

The referees' committee said they had viewed the incident many times on video and unanimously agreed that defender John Terry's challenge on Portugal keeper Ricardo was a foul.

"I have had support from the committee, the whole world can see this decision is correct, but not some of the journalists," Meier said.

"You can see on TV it is a clear foul, it's not a discussion point. When you put the arm over the goalkeeper and he can't jump it is foul play and I was really happy that television showed it.

"On the field you have only one split second, to make a decision, sometimes you feel you are not 100% and you are happy to have the TV pictures.

"In this case I was 100% certain it was a foul and it was correct to rule out the goal."

Meier said he was sure the controversy surrounding his decision had not affected Uefa's decision not to award him either of the two semi-finals or the final, which was given to Germany's Markus Merk.

"Absolutely not," he said. "Firstly, Uefa have said the decision was correct.

"There are many good referees here but only three could get the last three games. I am not alone in missing out."





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Merk to referee final
28 Jun 04  |  Euro 2004


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