Witches curse Swiss referee

Romanian witches are cursing Swiss referee Urs Meier to turn him lame and make him lose his whistling power after their country's European Championship hopes were dashed against Denmark.

Romania, who needed a win in Copenhagen last Wednesday to ensure at least a playoff place for the finals in Portugal, conceded a goal in the fifth minute of injury time Meier added on at the end of the qualifier.

"Seven witches of the city of Craiova cursed Meier to lose his capacity to whistle, to be lame in his legs and feel pain in his soul," local media reported on Saturday.

Newspapers quoted the witches as warning: "Romania will never feel pain and injustice from referees again after they see what has happened to Urs Meier."

The late goal for a 2-2 scoreline means Romania must count on Luxembourg to get a good result against Norway and Bosnia to fail against Denmark in final matches next month if they are to qualify.

The Romanian media have slammed Meier for giving Denmark a dubious penalty in the first half and also for extending injury time for no apparent reason.

Newspapers published his e-mail address and reported that he had complained at receiving some 14,000 messages from aggrieved Romanian fans.