Sports

Fifa VP raps Pellegrini 
for ref rant

Fifa's referees chief has come to the defence of Swedish official Jonas Eriksson, who was accused by Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini of favouring Barcelona.

Jim Boyce, a Fifa vice-president from Northern Ireland, said it was "absolute nonsense" for Pellegrini to suggest that Uefa should not have chosen a referee from Sweden for Tuesday's Champions League match last-16 match at the Etihad, where City lost 2-0.

Eriksson (left), who has been selected for the World Cup Finals in Brazil, had awarded a penalty against City and sent off Martin Demichelis.

Boyce, also chairman of Fifa's referees committee, told PA Sport: "If the referee has proved himself at the top level, it should not matter which country he comes from."

Boyce, who thought Eriksson, 39, had a good game, added that all World Cup referees are well-qualified and have been assessed by experienced officials, adding that Eriksson has had "excellent" performances in Europe. - PA Sport.