Tournament co-host Ukraine might have been denied a goal when it squared off against England.
During the match, England’s goalie Joe Hart blocked a shot by Ukraine’s Marko Devic, tipping it into the air. But Devic’s teammate John Terry returned the ball, which referees at the time did not rule as a goal, despite replays that showed it passed the goal line.
"The ball crossed the line. That was unfortunate," Pierluigi Collina, chief refereeing officer for the Union of European Football Associations, told AFP Wednesday. He said the call was “a human error.”
Ukraine lost its last match 1-0 and did not advance through the championship.
Croatia, too, ended its Euro journey after a debated 1-0 loss to defending champions Spain on June 19. Referees denied Croatia two crucial penalties.
“At the 27th minute, Spain’s midfielder [Sergio] Ramos tackled Croatia’s [Mario] Mandzukic right on the line of the goal area,” former FIFA-accredited referee Duong Van Hien said in an interview with Thanh Nien newspaper Wednesday.
“It was an obvious foul and at least the German referee should have booked Ramos a yellow card,” Hien said. “Even other officials failed to take any action against the situation.”
In the second setback for Croatia, Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets tugged the shirt of Croatia’s Vedran Corluka just before he misfired a shot.
“A penalty kick should have been ruled, and the Spanish player should have been booked a red card, but the main referee just did nothing,” Hien said.
Offside or not?
A single goal in the match, shot by Jesus Navas, allowed Spain to edge past Croatia into the quarter-finals, but the defeated team argued for an offside offence.
Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa was appealing to the referee for an offside when Navas kicked the ball into an empty net. A report issued Tuesday, however, backed the referee.
But the Croatian side seemed to forget it, too, had scored a goal from an offside position, during its earlier match against Ireland in the first round of the group stage.
In that game, both sides were tied 1-1 before Croatia’s Nikica Jelavic scored a goal when he “was meters offside,” according to Ireland’s coach Giovanni Trapattoni.
He said he believed that goal was the killer blow that changed the course of the game.
“The first goal was our mistake, but the second goal was clearly offside,” the Italian was quoted by The Score as saying.
But replays clearly showed that the ball rebounded to Jelavic after a clearance by Ireland’s Stephen Ward, so the Croatian was not in an offside position.