UEFA refereeing chief Pierluigi Collina has said the referee who failed to award Ukraine a goal in their 1-0 defeat to England will take no further part at Euro 2012.
Ukraine believed they had equalised when Marko Devic’s shot crossed the line, but John Terry cleared and the goal was not awarded. The incident came after the officials failed to spot that Artem Milevskiy was offside, but that has done little to draw attention away from the incident.
Collina has now said that, while he considers Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai to be one of the best referees in Europe, his involvement in the tournament is now over.
"We can clearly say he was not responsible (for the decision) but he would have come under pressure," Collina said. "Keeping Kassai here for another match would have been difficult for us. He is one of our best referees. It is something very unlucky for him."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter wrote on Twitter after the incident that goal-line technology is now a “necessity”, but UEFA president Michel Platini has shown little inclination to use it and has instead put his faith in ‘additional assistant referees’.
That the referee, assistant referee and AAR all failed to spot that Devic’s effort had crossed the line has prompted fresh criticism over the concept, but Collina maintains that it has worked well.
“This is the only problem we have had,” he said. “It's one negative decision in three years of Champions League and two years of Europa League and 24 matches in the Euro. I would be very happy to know if the same questions would have been asked without yesterday's decision.
"We made a mistake. I wish we hadn't made the mistake but we did. Referees are human beings and human beings make mistakes.''
Ukraine coach Oleh Blokhin said after the match that the ball had been 50 centimetres over the line, but Collina said: "This is not true. There were maybe some centimeters, a few. But it was wrong. It would be better if it had not been.”© ESPN