Referee under scrutiny after gesture to fans


Referee Arturo Dauden Ibanez has been asked to explain his actions after being accused of making a one-fingred gesture at the end of Switzerland's 2-2 Euro 2004 Group 10 qualifier with Russia last Saturday.

European soccer's governing body UEFA said today that Ibanez had been asked to make a statement after Swiss coach Koebi Kuhn claimed he saw the Spanish referee "show one finger to the crowd" as they jeered and whistled him off the field.

"We will look at video evidence and we have also asked for the referee to make a statement," a UEFA spokesman said.

Kuhn, whose side lost a two-goal lead in Basel's St Jakob Park stadium, accused Ibanez of showing bias against his team and insulting fans with the gesture.

"I was very disappointed. More with the referee than anything else," Kuehn said on Saturday. "I don't normally talk about the referee after a match, but this time I had to because this one was very bad."

Switzerland maintained their unbeaten record in their group on Wednesday with a 3-2 win over Albania in Geneva that kept them top of the table.