Meier: “No contact with family or friends for 10 days”

Back in 2004, Swiss football referee Urs Meier became front-page news for disallowing Sol Campbell's 90th-minute goal as England were knocked out of their Euro 2004 quarter-final with Portugal. He ended up needing police protection after his contact details and address were published in UK tabloids.
Meier talks BBC Sport through what happened afterwards. "I was on the front page of The Sun for three or four days. Journalists came to my home town, asking people questions about me," said Meier, who also claimed his children were offered Premier League match tickets to speak to reporters. "In the first day, there were more than 5,000 phone calls from England in my office. In the first hour, I got more than 16,000 emails. I had to cancel the address. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said on television that I had made a wrong decision. The whole of England was against me! The police in Switzerland were afraid that English supporters would come to my office, or that something would happen with my employees or my family. I had two armed security men in front of my business for a week".
Urs Meier flew back to Switzerland after the tournament, but his homeland offered no respite. He was kept on the aeroplane by police, taken to a garage in a city 20km away from his home town and told to change his car. He was going undercover for 10 days. "It was a hard time," said Meier. "I had no contact with my family or with my friends - the police forbade it. I went to the French part of Switzerland in the woods, far away from anything. "My family was really under pressure. At school, my children were attacked by their class-mates. My 14-year-old son was told 'your father made a terrible mistake - he is a bad referee'. It was not an easy time for him."
Meier said he was desperate for public support from UEFA. To this day, he stands by his decision to disallow Campbell's goal. "If UEFA had made a statement saying 'look, it's a clear foul', I think the campaign against me would have ended after one or two days," he said. "But they said nothing. The association have to help the referee. He is the long arm of the association on the field. They have a duty and a responsibility to protect referees, but there was no protection in my case".

Source: BBC Sports