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Ref rails at Advocaat bias query by Russian

THE BELGIAN referee for tomorrow's Euro 2012 qualifier between Russia and Slovakia in Moscow has angrily dismissed a suggestion that he would be biased against Russia coach Dick Advocaat.

Belgian official Frank de Bleecker will officiate at the match between Russia and Slovakia, both teams level on points with Ireland after the opening matches in Group 2, but his appointment has provoked controversy.

Football officials and fans in Belgium are still bitterly angry at Advocaat who walked out on his job as Belgian national team boss to take over as Russian coach earlier this year, with a possible court case in Brussels looming.

That promoted a Russian newspaper to ask De Bleecker if his nationality means that he will be biased against the Russians tomorrow but the experienced official, who has refereed at the World Cup and European Championship finals, was clearly upset at the notion.

"How could you even ask me that, I don't think that is a very good question, I don't even know Dick Advocaat," he said.



Slovaks would settle for draw

Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss says he'd settle for a draw with Russia in Moscow tomorrow.

"We look for a win in every game we play, but if we come away from the Lokomotiv Stadium in Moscow tomorrow with a draw, it won't be the worst result," he said.

Weiss was happy after an injury-time goal from Filip Holosko gave them a win at home to Macedonia on Friday.

- AIDAN FITZMAURICE


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