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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Defiant Meier stands firm
Swiss referee Urs Meier
Referee Urs Meier has insisted he was right to rule out Sol Campbell's dramatic last minute effort in the Euro 2004 quarter-final against Portugal.

A defiant Meier also claimed that coach Sven-Goran Eriksson was looking to use him as a scapegoat for England's exit.

Meier said: "It was a clear foul, the keeper was in his own area and must be protected and if it happened again, I would make the same decision.

"England are looking for a scapegoat and they are looking to blame me."

A defiant Meier also insisted he interpreted the rules exactly right as laid down for the tournament.

He said: "England should remember that we are at Euro 2004 and not playing in the English Premier League.

"What is allowed there is not allowed here. There are different rules and I applied them."

The referee looked at both the spots and was happy with the conditions
Uefa's William Gaillard

Meier's decision, though, might have cost him his chance of refereeing the final.

Uefa's refereeing committee are certain to look at the incident in private and decide on Meier's fate.

Traditionally, the referee for the final is chosen from one of the four quarter-final officials.

Meier is one of Uefa's most respected officials but may be overlooked in favour of either Anders Frisk (Sweden), Russian Valentin Ivanov or Lubos Michel from Slovakia.

A Uefa official also said they were happy with the condition of the penalty spots after a pitch inspection carried out by Meier.

England coach Eriksson revealed after his side's penalty shoot-out exit that he had complained to Uefa before the match, following training sessions on the Estadio da Luz pitch.

David Beckham appeared to lose his footing as he blasted his penalty kick wide, and other players stamped down the turf before taking their kicks.

Sol Campbell's header was disallowed by Urs Meier
Meier insists he was right to disallow Campbell's header

But Uefa director William Gaillard said Meier had inspected both penalty spots and was happy for the shoot-out to go ahead.

Gaillard said: "Everyone saw that players were looking at the penalty spot before taking their kicks.

"It seems that one player had a particular problem with the penalty spot but none of the others and everyone can draw their own conclusions.

"The referee looked at both the spots and was happy with the conditions, and they flipped a coin to decide which end they would hold the shoot-out."





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