Ukraine goal crossed the line and should have been given says Uefa referee chief Pierluigi Collina
UEFA’S chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina said today a Ukraine effort ruled out against England in their final Euro 2012 Group D match for not crossing the goal line should have been given.
"The ball crossed the line. That was unfortunate. It would have been better not to have it," Collina told a news conference in the Polish capital, Warsaw, the day after the Group D match in Donetsk that England won 1-0.
Collina blamed human error for the call but said two similar decisions in the 24 matches so far played in the tournament - in the Germany-Portugal and Italy-Croatia group matches - had been correct, adding: "The third, unfortunately, was wrong."
The incident arose in the 62nd minute of the game with the score at 1-0, when Ukraine's Marko Devic forced England's Joe Hart into a save and the ball looped back over the goalkeeper towards the net.
Defender John Terry acrobatically leapt to clear the ball from under the bar. Television replays indicated the ball crossed the line but Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai - advised by an assistant referee on the line - waved play on.
England kept their one-goal lead and advanced as group winners to a quarter-final meeting with Italy. Ukraine were eliminated, although a draw would still not have been enough to take them through.
Kassai's decision was greeted with dismay in Ukraine on Wednesday, with many claiming the team was denied at least a point.
"The result of the match turned on a gross error by the officials who didn't give the Ukrainian goal," Ukraine's Sport-Express newspaper said 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 incident has reopened the debate about the introduction of goal-line technology after a series of high-profile cases where goals were either given or disallowed, including against England in the last World Cup two years ago.