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'Since you beat us, join us'
June 24th, 2008 7AM
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[REF WATCH/EURO 2008] After English referee Howard Webb's stoppage time penalty-kick call against Poland yielded death threats blamed on a provocative statement from Poland's Prime Minister, some Polish fans responded more civilly. They've started a drive to grant Webb Polish citizenship, which would disqualify him from ever reffing a Poland game again.

The moment in question came at the end of the Poland's second group game. Leading 1-0 in stoppage time, Poland was closing in on an important three points, but in the 93rd minute, Webb awarded a penalty against the Poles after Mariusz Lewandowski pulled Austria's Sebastian Prodl down by his shirt.

Ivica Vastic, converted the penalty and the game ended in a tie.

Poland Prime Minister Donald Tusk said, "As the prime minister I have to be balanced and collected, but [on the night of the game] I was speaking very differently about the whole thing, I wanted to kill."

Despite receiving a stream of Internet-based threats, Webb told the Daily Mirror, "I suppose it's the uglier side of the game. But most people are reasonably nice in every country and good football supporters. Things are said in the heat of the moment in football that people don't necessarily mean."

Webb has not yet gone on the record regarding the Polish citizenship invitation.

 



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