Avoiding Spain good news for England says Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin

 

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin believes England have got off lightly by avoiding Spain in their Euro 2012 quarter-final.

A 1-0 win over the co-hosts for Roy Hodgson's men, coupled with France's surprising defeat to Sweden, means the Three Lions tackle Italy in the last eight in Kiev on Sunday.

It means they cannot meet the world champions until the final.

And, though Germany do also block the path to reaching Kiev on July 1, Blokhin feels England could benefit.

"It is 50-50 against Italy," he said.

"If England had played against Spain, it would have been much harder.

"This is not the same Italy that won the World Cup (in 2006), so let's see how it goes."

Blokhin's observations were overshadowed by an extraordinary argument with a local journalist over his side's performance.

The former Soviet Union star had been prickly before the game. However, that was nothing compared to what happened after his side had crashed out of the competition.

First Blokhin suggested the journalist should "come outside and have a man talk".

Then, when the conference had finished, Blokhin pointed to the journalist, and then to the door from which he made his exit.

The journalist declined the offer.

"Respect my job," he said.

"Let's go this one on one. You want to go with me? Let's have a 'man conversation'.

"You should respect that I played football. Did you play football? Respect my job and me.

"I won't allow anyone to criticise my team, about (Oleh) Gusev or (Andriy) Shevchenko. If you're a man, go with me. One on one."

Blokhin expressed his disappointment at Marko Devic's disallowed goal, which appeared to cross the line before it was cleared by John Terry.

It would have brought the hosts level with 30 minutes remaining and given them a chance of salvaging their status in the competition.

"There are five referees on the pitch and the ball is 50cm behind the goal-line. Why do we need five officials?" he said.

"They don't spot (Andy) Carroll's elbow, either? Or that (John) Terry fouls one of my players in the back?

"(Pierluigi) Collina told us that every movement with an elbow is a card, and every foul from behind is a yellow card. And yet where was that today?

"You write what you want - you've seen it. I don't want to criticise the referee."

 

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence