Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has suggested that Denmark and Sweden should be ashamed of themselves for allegedly contriving a 2-2 draw, which ensured Italy would be eliminated from Euro 2004.
“Someone should be ashamed and it is not us. I’m very bitter, I really didn’t believe (this would happen) with two peoples who are proud of their spirit of fair play,” Buffon said.
The 2-2 result between Denmark and Sweden rendered redundant Italy’s 2-1 win over Bulgaria.
“When you talk for days about a result, a 2-2 result not just a draw, and then it comes out like this, well I’m very surprised,” said Buffon.
“It was said that they need to give an example of football in front of everyone and then this happens,” he added.
“All those who talk about fair play and sporting values should open their eyes,” he added.
Italy thought they had qualified when Antonio Cassano struck the winner against the Bulgarians four minutes into stoppage time.
“We knew it was 2-1 to Denmark when we scored,” said Stefano Fiore.
“After the goal we found out that it was 2-2 and you could see the reaction.”
Striker Marco Di Vaio was another to question the legitimacy of the Sweden Denmark draw.
“When I heard it was 2-1 then I started to fear,” he said.
Asked what he thought about the Nordic spirit of fair play, Di Vaio replied: “It remained just chatter”.