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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Eriksson cools controversy

A distraught David Beckham of England
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson refused to openly criticise referee Urs Meier over his decision to disallow Sol Campbell's late goal against Portugal.

The hosts prevailed on penalties after Campbell's header in the last minute was ruled out for a foul on the keeper.

"You ask were we robbed," Eriksson said at a farewell press conference: "That's a very strong word. There were mistakes but all people in football make them.

"My opinion hasn't changed, I thought sitting on the bench it was a goal."

Eriksson did admit that he had a conversation with the referee about the match.

"I went to the referee's dressing room after the match and said what I had to say and that will stay between him and me," he said.

We'd been practising penalties at the other end and our feet had been giving way
David Beckham
England captain

Eriksson also complained to Uefa about the condition of the penalty areas, prompting venue managers to replace turf before the penalty shoot-out which knocked England out of the tournament.

But Uefa insisted it was happy with proceedings, despite David Beckham scuffing the first penalty and players from both teams showing concern about the spot.

"The referee looked at both the spots and was happy," said Uefa communications director William Gaillard.

"Everyone saw the players look at the penalty spot before taking the kicks. It seems that one player had a particular problem with the penalty spot but none of the others - everyone can draw their own conclusions."

Beckham said he was not sure that the penalty spot problem had been adequately addressed.

"We'd been practising penalties at the other end and our feet had been giving way," he said.

"I think the manager made an official complaint to Uefa about both penalty spots but I'm not sure it did anything about it.

"The same thing happened on the first penalty - when I planted my foot, the ball lifted," he added.





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