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Last Updated: Friday, 30 June 2006, 19:01 GMT 20:01 UK
Ugly scenes mar Germany triumph
Slovakian referee Lubos Michel of Slovakia (L) and German assistant coach Joachim Loew (2nd R) try to help separate players
Referee Lubos Michel (l) was caught up in the fracas
Germany and Argentina players clashed on the pitch after the hosts' quarter-final victory in Berlin.

Ex-striker Oliver Bierhoff, now part of the German backroom team, appeared to be at the centre of the melee.

Fifa officials and referee Lubos Michel were involved, while Argentina's unused substitute Leandro Cufre was sent off for unsporting behaviour.

Bierhoff said: "Fans have shown they can get on with each other. We should be able to do the same as sportsmen."

Punches and kicks appeared to be thrown in chaotic scenes which went on for approximately 90 seconds in front of a 72,000 crowd.

Bierhoff told German TV that he intervened after Cufre trod on German defender Per Mertesacker, leaving the player lying on the ground.

Germany and ourselves have great respect for each other and this was a thing of the moment

Argentina coach Jose Pekerman
The trouble seemed to start when midfielder Tim Borowski gestured towards the Argentina players to "keep quiet" having scored his penalty to make it 4-2 in Germany's favour.

Several of the South American players walked towards him and when the final Argentina spot-kick was saved, the Argentina defender Fabricio Coloccini approached Germany's Oliver Neuville.

Punches were thrown in a brief melee before it was broken up.

"It's a shame that in a game like a quarter-final such pictures end up getting sent around the world," Bierhoff added.

Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann put the trouble down to the intensity of Germany's dramatic win.

"I'd like to remind people that in football there is so much tension, so many emotions and if it goes all the way to penalties someone can lose control," he said.

"Football is just so emotional. It's just normal. It's no big deal, no problem at all."

And he was backed by Argentine coach Jose Pekerman.

"At times emotions run away with themselves at a match and it's not what we feel. Germany and ourselves have great respect for each other and this was a thing of the moment," he said.



SEE ALSO
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Clinical Germany win on penalties
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Klinsmann hails 'fantastic' fans
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Pick your Germany XI
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BBC World Cup coverage
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