The ugly face of soccer: Christian Poulsen and an African tragedy

Twelve fans died and fifty injured in a Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Zambia and Congo as they were crushed to death in a stampede while trying to exit the stadium. The Zambian government has ordered an investigation into the tragedy. There appears to have been too many people fighting their way to leave the stadium through inadequately constructed exits.
Meanwhile, in a Euro Cup 2008 qualifier Denmark lost to Sweden after a stirring comeback saw them level the score, 3-3. Christian Poulsen, the bone headed Danish defender, no stranger to controversy, decided to punch Markus Rosenberg in the solar plexus and in the penalty area. He was red carded and a penalty issued. But before it could be taken a hoodlum ran out on the field and threatened the referee, Herbert Fandel. He was taken into custody. But the referee was too shaken to continue and called of the game. Sweden will most likely be awarded the match by UEFA and Denmark will have been eliminated.
Rob Hughes ponders the vicissitudes of soccer.

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