Ukraine’s press on Wednesday blasted a refereeing error that prevented the national side equalising against England in their final Euro 2012 qualifier.
“The officials stole (Marko) Devic’s goal and Ukraine’s chances of beating the English,” said the news site sport.ua, accusing Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai “clearly not wanting to see” Ukraine’s goal.
With England 1-0 up, Devic forced a save from Joe Hart in the 62nd minute of the Tuesday’s game that was cleared off the line by John Terry. Television replays suggested the ball had crossed for a goal but Kassai waved play on.
“The result of the match turned on a gross error by the officials who didn’t give the Ukrainian goal,” added the newspaper Sport-Express on its website.
“And it all happened with five officials, two of whom were in charge of seeing whether a ball crosses the line,” the daily added.
The Segodnia daily for its part claimed Kassai was “blind”, adding: “What’s the point of having all these extra officials? Well done UEFA. Great organisation for the competition.”
Sport-Express added some perspective later on, saying that if the Group D match had finished 1-1, Ukraine still would not have gone through but “whichever way, it (the disallowed ‘goal’) leaves a bad taste”.
In its analysis of the match, the website champion.com.ua said Oleg Blokhin’s side showed fighting spirit but said weaknesses showed through.
“The central defenders played poorly but you can’t beat a team like England like that,” it added.