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Football Euro 2000: JUST SHUT IT BIG MOUTH; McGinlay slams Thomas over his Dallas dig-ups.

BELEAGUERED Hugh Dallas was last night hailed as Britain's best referee.

And former FIFA official Brian McGinlay claimed that cricitcs such as Englishman Clive Thomas are way out of order.

Dallas's decision to award Italy a crucial penalty in their 2-1 win over the Turks on Sunday has provoked the biggest controversy of Euro 2000 so far.

Former World Cup whistler Thomas claimed Dallas was WRONG to award it and that he LOST CONTROL of the match.

The Lanarkshire-based whistler has been gagged from discussing the incident but Thomas jumped in with both feet.

He said: "I would give Dallas four out of 10 for his performance - and two of those were for turning up on time in his kit.

"He might be highly regarded in Scotland but I don't know how.

"I don't rate him as a referee and never have done.

"Throughout the game his position was very bad indeed.

"The penalty was obviously not a penalty and what annoyed me more than anything was that he wasn't in a position to give it.

"He was 12 yards away, behind play - which is OK - but in a situation like that when one player clearly nudges another one the referee has to decide whether he would have given a free-kick outside the box for it and the answer is a definite 'no'.

"So therefore how can it be a penalty?

"Having given the penalty, the first thing Dallas did was run away from the penalty spot and obviously the Turkish players ran after him to make their protest.

"He allowed the commotion and the problems instead of standing on the penalty spot and saying to them, 'It is a penalty and if any of you want to argue there's a yellow card for you'.

"At least two of the Turkish players should have been given yellow cards for their protests but he didn't have the courage to book them.

"Why? Was it because he was reconsidering his decision?

"At that point, his control of the players diminished by about 75 per cent."

Even though McGinlay agrees with Thomas that the penalty award was justified, he backed his fellow-Scot's ability.

He said: "I've watched the incident three or four times and I must say that I didn't think it should have been a penalty.

"But, of course, I have the luxury of being able to watch the incident from my armchair, while Hugh had to make an instant decision on one viewing.

"I felt that he was well positioned to make his decision and it was a brave one to make.

"Clive Thomas says that it is easier to give a decision in the box but I think it's the complete opposite.

"If the foul had been given outside, no one would have bothered - it's harder to decide that a foul in the box is a penalty."

McGinlay added: "Clive says that he doesn't rate Hugh but there are very few refs in the world he does rate other than himself.

"And he himself was guilty of crass stupidity when he blew for time up in a World Cup match just as the ball was crossing the line.

"Dallas is Britain's best ref by a mile - they don't have his quality down in England."

Dallas was also backed officially over his borderline decision.

SFA referee supervisor George Cumming said: "I am very confident that the extra cameras will show that Hugh Dallas's decision was the correct one.

"It was certainly not the horrendous decision that some people have been making out.

"It was a tough one to call but there was definite physical contact and Hugh saw it.

"He actually handled the game very well indeed."

The reaction among Turkish fans and officials was one of horror.

Coach Mustapha Denizli, who has come in for as much stick as Dallas in the newspapers back home, said: "At this level it is unforgivable.

"The whole match turned on one bad decision by the referee.

"There's no way it was a penalty and my player confirmed this to me after the match.

"I admit I'm very angry and must find a way to comfort my players.

"Perhaps we lacked a bit of ambition but we did not deserve this defeat, which I consider scandalous.

"I repeat that there was no way it was a penalty and the consequences are serious."

Turkey's best-selling newspaper, Hurriyet, didn't beat about the bush. It said: "Dirty Scottish referee - he played for Italy."

The paper added: "How can UEFA think this man is a tournament official after this decision?"

The Turks appear to have been waiting to have a go at Dallas after he sent off one of their players during a qualifying match with Germany.

Another daily paper, Sabah, called him "the referee of nightmares".

Denizli was also savaged.

Hurriyet posed the question: "Why did we go four months without a friendly?

"If we had played other countries, the team's mistakes and incredibly dreadful football would have been seen and measures taken to resolve it.

"Denizli is not living in the real world."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Campbell, Iain
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 13, 2000
Words:847
Previous Article:Football Euro 2000: GERMANS HAVE POINT TO PROVE; GERMANY 1 ROMANIA 1.
Next Article:Football Euro 2000: James Traynor; Scotland is the perfect Euro stage says Brown.


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