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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 13, 2008

Polish PM 'wanted to kill Howard Webb'

WARSAW, June 13 (Reuters) - Poland's prime minister said on Friday he felt like he wanted to kill Howard Webb when the English referee awarded the injury-time penalty that allowed Austria to snatch a 1-1 draw at Euro 2008. Ivica Vastic's late equaliser on Thursday meant Poland had to settle for one point from their first two games in Group B. 'As the prime minister I have to be balanced and collected,' keen soccer fan Donald Tusk told reporters. 'But last night I was speaking very differently about the whole thing, I wanted to kill. 'Referees make mistakes and this was an obvious error that harmed us all. I thought it would have been better if we had lost in the first half when Austria had their chances and not after 93 minutes due to an obvious mistake.' Austria missed three gilt-edged opportunities in the opening exchanges before Roger Guerreiro put Poland ahead when he was clearly offside in the 30th minute. UEFA spokesman William Gaillard said Webb had made the correct decision about the penalty in a Friday news conference. Polish radio reported that Webb may get police protection at home after receiving internet threats from members of Britain's large Polish community. 'We have been made aware of the threats to Howard Webb by the Polish media,' a South Yorkshire police spokesman told Reuters. 'We have not personally seen the internet threats but if they are genuine we will be investigating them and trying to locate the sites. 'Our boys I'm sure will be in touch with Howard. We are ready to do everything necessary to provide security for him and his family.' Webb was based at Sheffield as a policeman but is taking a five-year break to concentrate on his refereeing career. Poland now face a difficult task to qualify for the quarter-finals when they meet group winners Croatia in their final match in Klagenfurt on Monday.

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