DONETSK, Ukraine (AFP)
Furious Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin offered to "step outside" with
a journalist in an extraordinary post-match bust-up following his
team's defeat to England.
The football legend lost his cool with a Ukrainian journalist
after a refereeing blunder cost his team a goal as England
eliminated the co-hosts with a 1-0 win at the Donbass Arena.
When questioned by the journalist about the physical condition of
the Ukrainian team the burly former Ballon d'Or winning
international striker snapped: "Respect my job. Let's go this
one-on-one. You want to go with me?
"Let's have a 'man conversation'."
When the journalist involved in the exchange stood up a UEFA
moderator stepped in to defuse the spat but Blokhin was
"You should respect that I played football? Did you play
football? Respect my job and me. I won't allow anyone to
criticise my team. If you're a man, go with me. One on one."
Blokhin meanwhile was scathing of the second half goalmouth
controversy which denied his team an equaliser, questioning how
the referees assistant stationed behind the goal could have
failed to spot Marko Devic's effort cross the line.
"There are five referees on the pitch and the ball is 50
centimetres behind the goal-line. Why do we need five
officials?," Blokhin said.
He also claimed England defender John Terry and substitute Andy
Carroll had both been guilty of fouls that should have been
received yellow cards.
"They don't spot Carroll's elbow, either? Or that Terry fouls one
of my players in the back? (Referees chief Pierluigi) Collina
told us that every movement with an elbow is a card, and every
foul from behind is a yellow card.
"And yet where was that today? You write what you want - you've
seen it. I don't want to criticise the referee."
Blokhin said his side had not deserved to lose and had nothing to
be ashamed of despite joining co-hosts Poland in being eliminated
at the group phase.
"We played a very good game and even the England coach said they
were lucky. I don't feel ashamed for this team," he said.
"We conceded a lucky goal. We were able to equalise, but they
didn't give it to us. Then we also played a very good game.
"England just played on the counter-attack. In the second half,
they had no opportunities. Their threat only came from a few
set-pieces, but it was just not our day. We didn't have any