Kewell: Referee has killed my tournament

RUSTENBURG - Australia forward Harry Kewell was left wondering if he should have chopped his arm off to avoid the red card he was shown on Saturday and said the referee had "killed" his World Cup.

The Socceroos held on for a 1-1 draw against Ghana despite losing Kewell in the 24th minute for handling the ball on the line and stopping a certain goal for their Group D rivals.

"Unless I detach my arm and put it somewhere else there is no way I can move my arm," a frustrated Kewell told reporters.

"I didn't deliberately try to handball it, I tried to use my chest, play by the rules, but the referee saw it another way and he's probably the only one who did.

"The guy's killed my World Cup."

Kewell was the second Australian to be given his marching orders in South Africa after Tim Cahill's dismissal in their opening match against Germany.

"I'm really devastated. Decisions like that, it's probably haunted us throughout the World Cup," said Kewell, who missed the first match recovering from a long-term groin injury.

"But that's football, you've got to take it on the chin."


His coach Pim Verbeek agreed Kewell should not have been sent off.

"From what I have seen, and I have seen it several times on television, it was definitely not a red card," he told a news conference. "It was a handball there is no doubt about that. It was a penalty, I don't complain about that.

"If he wants to give a penalty I can say 'OK' but a red card is definitely overdone."

Kewell bemoaned the lack of consistency in refereeing decisions, saying: "We've seen some decisions in this World Cup that haven't been red cards so why is this one different? That's how everyone gets confused."

Kewell, who took his time making his way down the tunnel was not even able to wallow in his misery on his own.

"I wasn't allowed to leave (the dressing room). A security guard sat with me for 65 minutes of the game," he said.

"I don't know what he was expecting me to do."

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