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Discussion Starter #1
I think they are acting more disgracefully about their exit from Euro2004 than the Italians did when they were ousted from WC2002, if that is possible. :rolleyes:
Tabloid campaign forces referee
into hiding

Edward Holt in Zurich
Wednesday June 30, 2004

Swiss referee Urs Meier has gone into
hiding with police protection after
receiving death threats and hate email
from England fans in a backlash fuelled
by the Sun.

Speaking by telephone from his secret
Swiss address, Mr Meier said he was
shocked by the reaction in the UK
media and from fans to his refereeing of
the England-Portugal game last week -
and he singled out the Sun as being the
worst offender.

Mr Meier, 45, said he had been forced to leave his home in
northern Switzerland after a torrent of media abuse that followed
within hours of him disallowing a goal by Sol Campbell in the
dying minutes of normal time in the game.

Swiss police are now guarding the referee day and night after
advising him to go into hiding following the death threats.

"I am taking these threats very seriously," Mr Meier said, adding
he was sent the offending messages after newspapers published
his email address.

He said: "I'm absolutely shocked by the media campaign
against me and the attacks from the supporters. I always
thought the spirit of fair play was important in England, with
respect for officials. I never expected this reaction.

"I had a wonderful tournament with three fantastic games, and
I'm feeling good about that. But the English newspapers,
especially the Sun, have caused a big problem. It is really a big
shock for me here in Switzerland.

"I have security problems and this is not the right way to handle
referees' decisions, whether they are right or wrong.

"The police are here with me now as we speak. I'm not going to
leave Switzerland but am somewhere where nobody knows me."

And he told Lausanne daily paper Le Matin: "This has taken on
unacceptable proportions. These people have nothing to do with
journalism. They just make things up and lie. They are trying to
destroy me. There are limits - and they've been long broken.

"Going after my family, digging into my private life - that's totally
unacceptable. I'm not afraid for my own life, but I am afraid of
what might happen to my loved ones."

The morning after England were knocked out of Euro 2004,
many newspapers led attacks on Mr Meier. The Sun asked
readers to "let rip" and send him emails.

The paper claimed the nation was "robbed" by a "half-wit"
referee who made a "heartbreaking decision".

This was followed over the weekend by reports in the Daily Mail
and the Sun, revealing that Mr Meier had left his wife, Franziska,
with whom he has two children, for referee Nicole Petignat. The
papers published details of where he lived and worked.

The Sun followed this up early this week by sticking a huge St
George flag outside his home in northern Switzerland. By then
Mr Meier had already closed his office and left his home.

The media were not the only ones to take umbrage with his
decision to disallow Campbell's goal, however.

Last Friday supermarket chain Asda offered Swiss nationals a
special free eye test in any one of its 68 optical stores.

"Lets face it, we were robbed," David Rutley, the director of
financial services at Asda, was quoted as saying in the British
media.

"Sol obviously scored. Well, it was obvious to everyone apart
from the Swiss referee, who clearly needs his eyes tested."

Mr Rutley added that Asda had already sent Mr Meier a letter
informing him of the offer.

"We've written to Meier telling him that, if he would like to take
us up on the offer, we will throw glasses in as well."

Mr Meier is not without his supporters. Swiss radio station NRJ
urged Swiss people to telephone the Sun to complain.

Switzerland's two biggest selling newspapers, Blick and 20min,
both commended Mr Meier on a good game and said his
decision to disallow the England defender's goal was "fair" and
"justified" - as one would expect from a neutral Swiss referee.

National daily Blick wrote: "What a game, what a drama. The
cool Brits against the hot blooded Portuguese. And the impartial
Swiss ref Urs Meier as the cherry on the cake."

It added: "Referee Meier was right to deny the goal - Terry
impeded goalkeeper Ricardo."

According to 20min: "Ref Meier gave a good performance. His
decision not to allow Campbell's header was correct. Terry
hampered Ricardo. But on the island, they'll look at it
differently."

The wave of anti-Swiss feeling among England fans claimed its
first victim on a Greek island, when a Swiss girl was kicked to
the ground and left with a broken arm by England fans after they
spotted her wearing a Swiss football shirt.

Manu Peyer, 22, said she had been wearing the t-shirt, showing
the red and white Swiss national colours, in a bar on the island
of Zakynthos.

Ms Peyer, who is a big England fan, said she had been just as
upset as the English over Mr Meier's refusal to count a goal that
might have secured the game for England.

Three English hooligans, who were furious when they saw her
t-shirt, watched her as she walked home to her holiday
apartment before attacking her.

"One of them hit me in the face with his fist and I fell to the
ground because of the force of his punch," said Ms Peyer.

The shaven-headed attackers then began kicking her as she lay
on the ground.

When the ordeal was over, Ms Peyer had a swollen eye, a
squashed nose and a broken arm. She had to go to hospital for
treatment. She has also been forced to take leave from work.

"I think they beat me up because of Meyer's ominous call on the
goal," Ms Peyer told Swiss radio after she had returned to her
home town of Zurich.

Nevertheless, she said she planned to support the English team
in the future because "after all, most of the English are good
people".

Mr Meier shares this view, despite what he has been through in
the past few days.

Speaking to Swissinfo he said: "I like English football and the
people in England. I spent my holidays there last year and I
know not all the people are the same.

"But some of the fans are really overheated now and it isn't right
that newspapers like the Sun should invade a person's private
life in this way."
 

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It's really sickening. Even if it would have been a wrong decision (which it obviously wasn't). The stupidity of people is frightning.
 

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No wonder we get such a bad name :rolleyes:
 

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Emola said:
No wonder we get such a bad name :rolleyes:
It's not only you Britts. The attacks of the Dutch papers on Advocaat were despicable as well. Blah!
 

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The Crow said:
It's not only you Britts. The attacks of the Dutch papers on Advocaat were despicable as well. Blah!
Well I dont know about those ;) But we are regarded as one of the worst when it comes to fans and violence etc. There are some idiots out there :fiery:
 

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Hmmm maybe "they" need to show some "class and restraint" :haha:
 

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You're forgetting this is a sport where players have been killed for missing penalties.
 

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Thats true. I should've said some of the worst fans in Europe ;)
 

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Well what do you expect?

Theres a few england fans who arrange to have mass brawls after a match.What kind of people who do that? The same that did this.
 

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veryborednow said:
You're forgetting this is a sport where players have been killed for missing penalties.
wtf! :tape:
 

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My god are the british bitter. Evey footballteam gets fucked over once in a while. Ajax has been fucked over for years in the CL. You don't see hoardes of fan molesting the referees.
 

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Joana said:
A Colombian player was killed after WC '94 when he had missed a penalty.
It was an own goal by Andreas Escobar. His own goal ruined some massive betting scam. What a waste of life for something so pathetic. :rolleyes:
 

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Cilla said:
It was an own goal by Andreas Escobar. His own goal ruined some massive betting scam. What a waste of life for something so pathetic. :rolleyes:
Yes, you're right. I remember reading that the killer's words were: "Thank you for own goal" after he shot him.
 

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Absolutely disgraceful!

Meier took the right decision, everyone except for the English agree with Meier.
 

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gentenaire said:
Absolutely disgraceful!

Meier took the right decision, everyone except for the English agree with Meier.
It's funny you should say that, as alot of Scottish people (possibly our bitterest enemies) have said to me that England were robbed, even though they were happy England were out.

I just think on the continent they play football like netball......any sort of contact and it's a foul, whereas in England we like good hard but fair tackling and football at a fast pace so it's enjoyable on the eye.


But with regard to the main point, these fans are a minority. It happens in lots of countries.

In Scotland, ref Hugh Dallas had to hide in his home after a Rangers v Celtic match.

In Italy, fan stabbings are a regularity.

In Argentina, the League gets suspended for fan violence reguarly

I remember one game featuring Jamaica where PLAYERS were attacking the referee

It's not just an English thing, infact, in England's Premier League, there is very rarely ANY trouble.

I think that the English trouble gets reported more widely, and, as with lots of things, the media then mislead the reader and the reader is again believing everything they read, which is quite amazing, as alot of people contradict themselves on this board by saying they don't.

Now, i'm not saying what is written isn't true, but it is severely hyped and The Sun have achieved their main objective - It's got people talking.

However much of it is true, is indeed appalling.

Meier made a decision, in my opinion it was a wrong one, but it's over, finished and fans are welcome to boo him if/when he referees a game in England, but death threats is too far.

The only laughable thing is, people think all England fans are the same, pity, as if i thought all French/German/Spaniards/Italians were the same, my opinions would not be very high.
 

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IMO, the fans' reaction isn't unexpected. Things like that will always happen. However, what those tabloids did is horrible and I hope they get punished for it.
 
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