England-Portugal ref has history with Beckham

June 28, 2006

The referee assigned to England's World Cup quarter-final against Portugal sent off David Beckham for a studs-up tackle six years ago.

Argentina's Horacio Elizondo red-carded Beckham during Manchester United's match against Mexican side Necaxa in the first game of the 2000 World Club Championship in Brazil.

The midfielder's lunge at Jose Milian revived doubts about his temperament following his sending-off at the 1998 World Cup, but he was defended by Sir Alex Ferguson after the match.

Since then, Elizondo, 42, has officiated at the Olympic football tournament in Athens in 2004, and the opening match of this World Cup between Germany and Costa Rica.

He created some controversy during South Korea's match against Switzerland when he overruled his linesman's offside flag and allowed Alexander Frei to make it 2-0.

The official correctly spotted the ball had come off the leg of a Korean defender but he was surrounded by angry players after allowing the goal.

Elizondo, a PE teacher, speaks English as well as Spanish, and lists his interests as playing golf and writing poems.

After he red-carded Beckham, United boss Ferguson said: 'The reaction of the Mexican players got him sent off and that's disappointing.'