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Uefa supports Webb over penalty

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English referee Howard Webb awards Austria a late penalty

Uefa has backed English referee Howard Webb's decision to award Austria an injury-time penalty in their 1-1 draw with Poland on Thursday at Euro 2008.

Webb penalised Mariusz Lewandowski for holding Sebastian Prodl and Austria scored from the spot.

Poland coach Leo Beenhakker was furious about the decision after the game.

But Uefa's William Gaillard said: "We don't think it is controversial that a player is pulled down by the shirt and a penalty is given."

Gaillard, who is director of communications at Uefa, added: "It [Webb's decision] was certainly within the laws of the game."

Webb will find out on Sunday whether he will take charge of another game at Euro 2008 when Uefa officials announce officials for next week's games.

Beenhakker believes that Webb's late decision was incorrect - and has effectively knocked Poland out of Euro 2008 after a defeat against Germany and the draw in Vienna.

But Poland also seemingly benefitted from the officials' decisions as their opening goal, scored by Roger Guerreiro, appeared to be put in from an offside position.

Beenhakker said: "I've never had a problem in 43 years of being in football but this is something I cannot understand.

606: DEBATE

"It's impossible to accept but I am working on it. We don't have it in our own hands any more and the conclusion is we are out of the tournament."

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk made it clear he was also finding it hard to accept and admitted he had difficulty controlling his anger after the match.

He said: "As the prime minister I have to be balanced and collected. But last night I was speaking very differently about the whole thing, I wanted to kill.

"Referees make mistakes and this was an obvious error that harmed us all."

Beenhakker also accused Webb of trying to prove he was a "big boy".

Uefa's disciplinary body may take action against Beenhakker for his comments, while the referees' committee will decide if Webb and assistants Darren Cann and Michael Mullarkey will take charge of another game at the tournament.

Given that England are not at Euro 2008, it was seen as an opportunity for Webb's team to stay at the tournament until the latter stages.

Gaillard added: "The referees' committee analyses all the games and makes the appointments according to its own analyses and we don't interfere with the way they are managing officials in this tournament.

"For sure there is a better chance to referee the final matches as his national team is not there but that is a statistical chance.

"I wouldn't speculate about the decisions of our referees' committee."

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Highlights: Austria 1-1 Poland




see also
Justice was done - Hickersberger
12 Jun 08 |  Austria
Austria 1-1 Poland
12 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Croatia 2-1 Germany
12 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Poland team guide
15 May 08 |  Poland
Poland stats and form guide
28 May 08 |  Poland
Pick your Poland XI
23 May 08 |  Poland


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