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Rediff.com  » Sports » Fan trouble mars Denmark tie

Fan trouble mars Denmark tie

June 03, 2007 15:00 IST

Denmark rallied from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Sweden in a Euro 2008 qualifier on Saturday which was abandoned in the 89th minute when a fan attacked referee Herbert Fandel after he awarded the visitors a penalty.

The result of the Group F tie will not be confirmed until an investigation by UEFA's disciplinary committee following receipt of the reports from its delegate and the referee, European soccer's governing body said on its Web site (www.uefa.com).

Local media prematurely announced Sweden had been awarded a 3-0 win but the outcome cannot be decided until the disciplinary committee have met.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) said it would not protest if UEFA awarded Sweden victory.

"This is a serious stain on the reputation of Danish football. We have had a low fence (around the stadium) out of respect for the crowd and this is the risk we've taken," DBU spokesman Lars Behrendt told Reuters.

He added that the fan was in police custody and would be prosecuted.

The fracas began when Dane Christian Poulsen was sent off for striking Markus Rosenberg in the penalty area in front of a capacity crowd of 42,083 at the Parken stadium.

Fandel awarded a penalty for Sweden but before it could be taken the fan rushed on to the pitch and attacked the German referee, who also handled last week's Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool.

WALKED OFF

Several Danish players stepped in between the attacker and Fandel, who immediately blew the whistle and walked off the pitch.

At least two more supporters forced their way on to the pitch after the incident.

Sweden went in front after seven minutes when striker Johan Elmander capitalised on a defensive mistake from Michael Gravgaard.

Petter Hansson added a second goal when he drove home a powerful free kick from long range.

Elmander grabbed Sweden's third after 26 minutes, using his heel to convert a cross from Christian Wilhelmsson.

Denmark, though, staged a fighting comeback with goals from Daniel Agger (34 minutes), Jon Dahl Tomasson (62) and Leon Andreasen (75).

"This was supposed to be a soccer party," said Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen. "But then these two ill tempered incidents happened and made it a real anti-climax."

Midfielder Poulsen said he regretted the damage his assault on Rosenberg had caused.

"My mind just went click and I hit him," he said. "I want to apologise to my team mates and to the spectators.

"It's the most stupid thing I've ever done. It happened at a time when we had pulled back Sweden's lead. I can't explain it."

DBU general secretary and UEFA disciplinary committee member Jim Hansen said he thought victory would be awarded to Sweden.

"It's very seldom we have this type of episode. In my mind there is no doubt we will be judged the losers," he told Danish agency Ritzau.

He also said he expected the DBU to be fined.

Fighting broke out between the two sets of fans after the game. Copenhagen police said they had 150 officers in place to keep order in the city.

"This was a game that was perhaps too entertaining but that ended very tragically," said Sweden coach Lars Lagerback.

Source:
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