Conspiracy at the Euro? No, not in soccer
No investigation of Denmark-Sweden tie
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — European soccer's ruling body has no plans to investigate the tie between Sweden and Denmark that sent both teams to the European Championships quarterfinals and eliminated Italy.
Conspiracy theories had swirled in the Italian media that the Scandinavian neighbors would play for the 2-2 result. Any tie 2-2 or above automatically eliminated Italy.
"So far there are no elements to start any investigation or proceedings in this case," Julien Sieveking, UEFA's disciplinary counsel, said Wednesday. He added the Italian federation had not lodged a complaint.
Italy defeated Bulgaria 2-1 on Tuesday but the outcome became irrelevant because of the Sweden-Denmark finish.
"Until I see the goals, I'm hesitant to believe it was a fix," Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni said. "Certainly, that result could raise some doubts, but I remain convinced that, in general, sporting ethics prevail."
Mattias Jonson capitalized on a goalkeeping blunder with a minute left to give Sweden the tie.
"If you see the game, you see there is no way you can fix a match like this," said Henrik Larsson, who had Sweden's opening goal. "Not even Spielberg could write a script like this."
Added Jon Dahl Tomasson, who scored twice for Denmark: "If you look at the game, we tried to play for the three points."
Sweden, Denmark and Italy each finished with five points in Group C. The two Nordic countries advanced because they had scored more goals than Italy, which tied 0-0 with Denmark and 1-1 with Sweden.
"Looking at the matches and the way they were played and the drama of the two games, I don't think there is any doubt whatsoever that there was any type of collusion at all," UEFA spokesman Rob Faulkner said.
Trapattoni said Wednesday he was "not going to search for alibis," and suggested Italy start addressing the problems of the national team. The 65-year-old coach, whose contract expires July 15, said he would not resign. His four years with the team were also marked by a second-round exit at the 2002 World Cup.
Marcello Lippi, who just stepped down at Juventus, is widely expected to be hired as Italy's new coach