Referee who disallowed Campbell’s goal in Euro 2004 admitted he never saw a foul

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The referee who disallowed Sol Campbell's goal for England at Euro 2004 has admitted he never saw a foul.

Urs Meier was the man in the middle for the Three Lions' quarter-final tie against Portugal, which ended in heartache for England.

Meier, from Switzerland, was an established referee at this point having officiated at two World Cups and the 2002 Champions League final.

But he is remembered by many supporters for one game in particular in Lisbon, during which he denied England the chance of progressing to the semi-finals of Euro 2004.

Meier disallowed what would have been a last-gasp winner from Sol Campbell after adjudging John Terry had obstructed goalkeeper, Ricardo.

England went on to lose on penalties and the decision to disallow the goal saw Meier receive thousands of death threats.

Looking back on the game ahead of the upcoming Euros, the 62-year-old has explained he did not see a foul committed by England but stuck by his call.

"Players were absolutely furious, Campbell especially, but the whole team," he recalled in an interview with magazine FourFourTwo.

"To make matters worse, Portugal took a quick free-kick and were on the attack within moments. The move ended with them shooting over the bar – thank God they didn't score or it would have been chaos.

"As soon as the ball went out of play, the England players crowded around me. Sol Campbell sprinted almost half the length of the pitch to scream at me, telling me that he hadn't fouled anyone.

"He demanded to know why the goal was ruled out. I calmly explained that I knew that he hadn't fouled anybody. I also admitted I didn't know who made the foul, as I hadn't seen what happened. He was stunned."

Now retired, Meier has no doubt in his mind that he was right to take away the goal.

Despite not being able to see what had happened on the goal line, the former referee claims he trusted his 'gut'.

"We need to be absolutely clear about one thing: despite what English tabloids said, I made the correct decision in Lisbon. It wasn't Sol Campbell who made the foul on the goalkeeper when I disallowed his header – it was John Terry," explained Meier.

"The scenario is actually still used in German refereeing textbooks, because it represents a good example of making a correct call based on something you can't see; something happening elsewhere, out of your line of vision.

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"To be honest, I didn't actually see any foul that night – but I knew there was one. My gut told me that something in the picture wasn't right, and I'd learned to trust that feeling over a 20-year career.

"It all just felt too easy. Where was the goalkeeper, Ricardo? I hadn't seen his hands go up for the ball. Why couldn't he get his hands up?"

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