Lithuania boss accuses Berra
Lithuania coach Raimondas Zutautas claims Christophe Berra dived in an attempt to win a penalty for Scotland against Czech Republic.
Last Updated: 05/09/11 5:22pm
Lithuania coach Raimondas Zutautas claims Christophe Berra dived in an attempt to win a penalty for Scotland against Czech Republic on Saturday.
And the coach has turned the tables on the Scots by insisting they have benefited from questionable decisions in their Euro 2012 qualification campaign.
Scotland manager Craig Levein called for Jan Rezek to be suspended after the Czech winger went down under a challenge from Danny Wilson to earn the visitors a last-minute penalty which Michal Kadlec converted to secure a 2-2 draw.
Television replays suggested Rezek had dived and Levein's anger was exacerbated when Dutch referee Kevin Blom booked Berra in stoppage time for simulation in the opposite penalty area when he went down after going past Roman Hubnik.
Zutautas was reminded that, four years ago, Lithuania and then Hearts midfielder Saulius Mikoliunas was handed a two-match suspension for diving to win his side a penalty during a 3-1 victory for the Scots in the previous European Championship qualifying campaign.
He was initially reluctant to discuss the issue but after several promptings he said: "In the 93rd minute the Scotland player dived the same as the Czech player. The referee was close to it but didn't give the penalty and that is part of the game."
Lithuania drew a blank against Liechtenstein on Friday night to scupper their qualification hopes but Zutautas reminded the Scottish media that it had taken a Stephen McManus winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time at Hampden last September for Levein's men to take three points against the Group I minnows.
He smiled: "I remember that game. Why didn't you talk about it when the referee played 97 minutes and you scored a last-minute goal? Why do you not talk about that?"
Deividas Cesnauskis, former Hearts team-mate of Mikoliunas, was in no mood to take the diving issue seriously.
He joked: "I saw Scotland's result against Czech Republic and I saw a good penalty for the Czechs.
"It was a dive - and Mikoliunas said it was top class.
"I remember when we were at Hearts and a bus driver shouted out 'Mikoliunas' and I thought he was going to say 'hi' or something but then shouted 'dive' with his two hands doing the motion. It was funny."
Cesnauskis believes Rezek should also be brought to book by Uefa but insists diving is part and parcel of the game.
He said: "He must be punished because if you punish one player you must do the same with the other. But everybody talks about diving, diving.
"I know it is hard for the Scottish team because of the two penalties but some players try to dive in the box to get penalties for their team. That is normal. That is part of the game. It is down to the referee to make the decision."