World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Urs Meier

Urs Meier
Born (1959-01-22) January 22, 1959
Würenlos, Switzerland
Years League Role
1989–2004 Swiss Nationalliga A Referee
Years League Role
1994–2004 FIFA-listed Referee

Urs Meier (born January 22, 1959 in Würenlos, Aargau) is a retired Swiss football referee. He officiated at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, taking charge of the semi-final between South Korea and Germany in 2002. He also refereed the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final as well that year. He also appeared at Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, refereeing the quarter-final between England and Portugal in 2004. He retired 6 months later.

Meier received FIFA appointments and refereed in the Swiss top division until he reached the mandatory retirement age for each. He now appears as an expert summariser on the German television channel ZDF during World Cups and European Championships. He also owns a brand of household appliances in Würenlos, Switzerland.


  • Notable matches 1
    • USA vs Iran 1.1
    • Denmark vs Romania 1.2
    • Portugal vs England 1.3
  • References 2
  • External links 3

Notable matches

USA vs Iran

At the 1998 World Cup, Meier refereed the heated USA-Iran match. It was an emotional match because of the political situation, and supposedly a hard one to referee because of this, in what was one of his earliest games as a World Cup referee.

Denmark vs Romania

During a qualification match for Euro 2004 between Romania and Denmark, he awarded a controversial penalty kick for Denmark. Meier also let play go on for longer than the amount of time added on originally recommended by the fourth official, making it seven minutes instead of four. Denmark equalized during the added time to eliminate Romania. After several Romanian newspapers published his email address after the game, Meier received 14,000 e-mails. Several petitions were sent to UEFA, but they were disregarded.

Portugal vs England

In the Euro 2004 quarter-final between England and Portugal at Lisbon, with the score at 1–1, he disallowed a goal by Sol Campbell in the 89th minute due to a perceived foul by John Terry on the Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira.[1] There was some disquiet before the game amongst the English fans because England had defeated Switzerland 3-0 in the group stages, eliminating them. The match ended in a draw, and Portugal proceeded to the next stage following a penalty shootout and reached the final (where they lost to Greece).[2]

UEFA backed Meier,[3] but English fans and media contested the accuracy of his decision — condemning Meier. English tabloids dubbed him "Urs hole", "idiot ref" and "Swiss banker".[4]

After Meier's personal details were published by British tabloid newspapers, Meier received more than 16,000 abusive e-mails, and death threats. Reporters of The Sun even travelled to Switzerland and placed an oversized English flag on a field near his home. As a result, he was placed under police protection.[5]


  1. ^ "Defiant Meier stands firm".  
  2. ^ "Portugal break England hearts".  
  3. ^ "Uefa slams English press".  
  4. ^ "So painful, so cruel, so typical".  
  5. ^ Holt, Edward (2004-06-30). "Tabloid campaign forces referee into hiding". London:  

External links

  • (German) Urs Meier's page on referee career
  • (German) Urs Meier's company
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.