Reffing it up

Some referees at the tournament had it easier than others – although the standard in general was very high. Swiss official, Urs Meier, who disallowed Sol Campbell’s ‘winner’ against Portugal, has been forced to go into hiding. His website has been inundated with less than complimentary messages and he has been advised to stay away from his home in Zurich by police following death threats.

Sweden’s Anders Frisk enjoys similar ‘popularity’ in Holland after ruling out a Dutch ‘goal’ against Portugal and even the experienced Pierluigi Collina has come under fire from Czech players and fans, following his refusal to award a penalty against Greece in the other semi-final. The final itself brought referee Dr. Markus Merk under close scrutiny, as it is well known that he has maintained a long-standing friendship with Greek coach Otto Rehhagel – something that could only work in Portugal’s favour. At 16,000 euros a match, referees do not earn their money easily!