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Referee defends World Cup red card for Rooney
2006-07-05 08:44:00   Xinhuanet  


LONDON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The referee who gave Wayne Rooney a red card in the match that saw England crash out of the World Cup has defended his decision.

"It was violent play and therefore he got a red card," Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo told Tuesday¡¯s edition of Britain¡¯s Times newspaper.

Portugal¡¯s Ronaldo rushed 30 meters to the referee, apparently to demand a card for Rooney who had trod on Carvalho¡¯s groin.

Rooney pushed Ronaldo, his Manchester United teammate, who was captured on TV cameras winking at his bench as the England forward walked off the pitch having been dismissed.

"People can say what they want, but this had absolutely no influence," said Elizondo.

"For me it was a clear red card, so I didn¡¯t react to the Portuguese players. There was pushing and shoving on both sides, but for me it wasn¡¯t a reason to caution anybody."

Overall, Elizondo said he was "very satisfied with the spirit of fair play" in the match that saw England defeated 3-1 on penalty points, and that England coach Sven Goran Eriksson had congratulated him for an "excellent performance".

"He said that I was right to send off Rooney because it was rough play." 

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