Ukraine robbed, Shevchenko retires
It was the blunder seen all across the world as Ukraine’s chances to advance in the EuroCup were dashed by a shotty call by a nearby referee who claimed this was not a goal in today’s 1-0 final against England:
"What can I say? There are five referees on the pitch and the ball was half a metre over the line," Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin, who remonstrated angrily with the fourth official at the time, told reporters.
"Devic scored a goal and I don’t know why it wasn’t allowed."
Unfortunately FIFA does not institute video replays or goal-line technology in its decision making, as the duty solely rests on the referees – who was only metres away from that goal. Ironically it was England that suffered a similar fate against Germany two years ago in South Africa. Had the goal been allowed, Ukraine would have tied up the match, but still needed a win to advance against Italy in the next round.
Following this disappointing loss, Ukrainian football star Andriy Shevchenko announced his retirement from international play:
Shevchenko’s contract with current side Dynamo Kiev expires next month and a move to Major League Soccer in the United States in rumoured. The striker confirmed that he hopes to arrange a final, 112th appearance for his country in the coming weeks.
"I just want to play one more game to say goodbye, just for my family and friends and all the fans who have supported me for many, many years.
"For everyone the time [to retire from football] comes."
Shevchenko said Ukraine deserved better than their elimination at England’s hands, especially after Marko Devic’s effort was hooked out of the goal by England defender John Terry after the ball appeared to have crossed the line.
"We deserved more today," he told BBC Sport. "We played well, created chances and of course scored a goal.
"It’s difficult for us. We’re out of the competition. That’s the reality.
"[Scoring a goal] would have made a big difference. If we score we’re buzzing and we’ll maybe win a game. The referee was there, very close."