Football

Smith unhappy with decisions

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Walter Smith launched a scathing attack on referee Jonas Eriksson, accusing him of "opting out" of awarding Rangers a crucial penalty in their Champions League 4-1 defeat to Sevilla.

The Ibrox boss insists Steven Naismith should have won a spot-kick late in the first half but the match official chose to ignore the claims in order to avoid showing Abdoulay Konko a red card.

"He has opted out of the decision and for a referee at this level that is disappointing.," said Smith of the penalty claim.

"You could say it was a turning point. Certainly when we play against teams of the level of Sevilla in the Champions League, you need a set of circumstances to go with you and they didn't.

"It was a vital decision for us in the first half. I felt for an hour of the game we played well and during that period we needed that little bit of a break and we didn't get it.

"From where I was sitting it was clearly a penalty. But one of the problems that all referees have just now is that they have two decisions to make, because they obviously have to send the player off.

"That makes it awkward for the referee. He opted out of what was a very clear-cut decision. At Champions League level, you would expect a better decision from what was a fairly clear-cut circumstance.

"He was perfectly positioned. Referees have to make strong decisions at this level. You can say that anyone can make an error but that was a fairly clear-cut one and he was up with play and he did see it.

The incident proved to be pivotal in the clash, as Konko went on to set the ball rolling before saw Adriano, Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanoute also help themselves to a goal a apiece.

Nacho Novo did find the net late on for the Scottish champions but the goal was scant consolation for a side reeling from a sense of injustice at the hands of the Swedish official.

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Topics:
European News
Football
UEFA Champions League

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