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After the Euro 2008 Group D game between Spain and Sweden in Innsbruck, reports surfaced that several players and staff members from the Spanish national team verbally attacked the head referee, Pieter Vink.

According to eyewitnesses, the head referee and his assistants were met between the main tunnel and referee dressing room by several Spanish players and staff members during halftime of the game.

Allegedly, the Spaniards were upset with Vink for not calling a penalty kick after Sweden’s center back Olof Mellberg played the ball with his hand in side of the Sweden penalty box during the first half.

According to UEFA official soccer rules “NOBODY” can approach referees before the game, during the half, and after the game in the premises of the stadium where the soccer event is healed.

Apparently this “shameless tactic” worked for the Spaniards. Most of the calls in the second half went the Spain’s way. In the last 20 minutes of the game only one foul was called for the Sweden versus more then a dozen fouls for Spain. In the last minute of the game Spain forward David Villa scored a winning goal after an obvious foul on the Spain’s half of the field. Spain defender Carlos Marchena clearly pushed Sweden forward Markus Rosenberg to the ground. After the play-on from Vink the ball was pushed down the field where Villa scored.

The Swedes were very upset with this situation, especially their head coach, Lars Lagerback, who demanded an UEFA explanation regarding this.

To be honest I do not blame him. In my opinion before the winning goal the referee should have called a foul for Sweden.

Conveniently UEFA did not come with an explanation regarding the verbal abuse of the referee during the game. I guess that was not important, or Sweden is not important enough?

I will remind you that UEFA came out with explanation of the rule moments after the Netherlands and Italy clash in which Netherlands won 3-0, and it’s first goal came from Ruud van Nistelrooy who appeared to be in an offside position.

Another controversial game had no comment by UEFA as well. A Group B clash between Austria and Poland ended 1-1 when head referee from England Howard Webb called a penalty kick for Austria in a last minute of the game. Apparently, he saw that Poland defender Marcin Wasilewski pulled the shirt of Austria forward Sebastian Prodl in the third minute of added time and a penalty kick was awarded for Austria after which Austria substitute Ivica Vastic scored a goal that brought first point for the co-host on the tournament. I mean penalty kick in the last seconds for the co-host country, come on.

Maybe UEFA officials were too busy that particular day because famous lobster in a white Austrian wine was served for lunch at famous Prater restaurant in Vienna or an explanation only needs to be made when “important countries” such as Italy, Germany, Portugal, Spain, England, sorry I apologize England did not qualify, “it has to be referee fault for sure”, are damaged with referee mistakes.

With this behavior UEFA clearly states which countries are privileged under this organization, equality is obviously not existent in this case, and underdogs in this Euro like Sweden, Russia, Poland, do not have any chance to win.



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