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By ESPN Staff
Jun 4, 2007

Danish fan regrets drunken ref attack

COPENHAGEN, June 4 (Reuters) - The drunken Danish fan who attacked referee Herbert Fandel who then abandoned Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier between Denmark and Sweden, apologised to his countrymen for spoiling their chances of making it to next year's finals.

'I so want to say I'm sorry to everyone in Denmark. I spoiled a fantastic evening for so many,' the 29-year-old Dane told Danish paper Ekstra Bladet in an interview.

The man, identifed only as 'R' by the paper, cannot be named for legal reasons but said at a court hearing he had drunk 15 to 18 beers before the match and had little memory of the actual incident.

He did remember he was angered by Fandel handing a red card to Denmark's Chritian Poulsen and wanted to tell the referee his decision to dismiss the player was 'nonsense'.

Denmark had rallied from 3-0 down to 3-3 but the match was abandoned in the 89th minute when he jumped over the low fence at the Parken Stadium and headed straight for Fandel just after he awarded Sweden a late penalty.

He then struck out at the refree, before he was fended off by Danish players. He made it back to the stands before being seized by match stewards and later police.

The man that Ekstra Bladet called 'the most hated and probably also the unhappiest in Denmark,' told the paper he still had difficulties believing it had happened.

'I haven't slept all night in my cell. The last thing I ever wanted was to hurt the national team and I hope someday I will have the chance to apologise in person for what I did to the referee,' he said.

UEFA's Control and Disciplinary panel will meet later this week to decide whether to allow the match to stand at 3-3, replay the game, or award a victory to Sweden.