England vs Portugal referee Urs Meier’s Euro 2004 hell: “I woke up to find 16,000 emails in my inbox. They were all in English – death threats and insults”

Urs Meier, referee
(Image credit: PA)

This feature by Urs Meier first appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. Subscribe now!

The first time I had to deal with death threats came nine months before Euro 2004. It was a qualifier between Denmark and Romania, where the visitors needed a win in their last game to qualify. Romania were the better team by miles too, and 2-1 up as the game entered four minutes of injury time. But they started time-wasting to an obscene level, with players walking really slowly for substitutions. I had to book one of them for taking so long over a corner, and kept telling them that I’d be adding that time onto the end, but they carried on.

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Urs Meier, former referee famous for Euro 2004 controversy with England