Germany 4 Portugal 0: Portuguese deny Raul Meireles made an offensive gesture to referee
Pictures show midfielder sticking his middle fingers up at the referee
Tuesday 17 June 2014
Portugal have denied that midfielder Raul Meireles made an offensive gesture at the referee in their defeat to Germany on Monday and instead insisted he was giving instructions to teammates.
Photographs appeared to show the 31-year-old sticking his middle fingers up at Serbian match official Milorad Mazic after teammate Pepe was sent-off for head-butting Thomas Muller.
However, the Portuguese management team have denied the claims and explained Meireles was simply passing on tactical directions from coaching staff.
"The Portuguese football federation (FPF) reiterates that there was no gesture directed to the match referee and regrets the speculation which would seriously damage the interests of the player and the national team," they said a statement.
"The FPF clarifies that the gesture, which has been misinterpreted, was directed at teammate Bruno Alves and merely indicated instructions from coach Paulo Bento.”
On closer inspection, the photographs seem to show the former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder using his index fingers which would back up the FPF’s claims of innocence.
"Raul Meireles was just explaining that he would drop back to the position of central defender, playing on the right of the defence,” the FPF clarified.
Portugal’s squad has already been depleted by injuries to striker Hugo Almeida and full-back Fabio Coentrao and with Pepe set to receive at least a one-game ban for his head-butt, the FPF are clearly keen for Meireles to avoid further punishment.
Latest in Sport
Google trolls Tottenham with Oxford dictionary definition of 'lackadaisical'
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Floyd Mayweather ends the carnival this week and picks his next fight - but will it be Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto
Steven Defour: Anderlecht midfielder sent off after kicking ball into Standard Liege fans who unveiled huge banner showing him decapitated
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders