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Sweden Falls to Italian Second Squad

Published torsdag 19 november 2009 kl 11.23

Sweden lost its first soccer match under new national team manager Erik Hamrén Wednesday, falling away to Italy 1-0.

The game was a friendly between the world champions and a Swedish team whose failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup led to the recent change in managers. Italy fielded a second string team with few starters, while Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic was out of the line-up as well.

Meanwhile, Swedish referee Martin Hansson has come under heavy criticism for allowing a goal by France in their World Cup qualification match against Ireland, despite the fact that it was preceded by a handball by striker Thierry Henry. The goal meant that France qualified to the 2010 championships in South Africa.

Irish defender Kevin Kilbane told Sky Sports that Hansson told him after the match that he was "100% sure it wasn't a hand ball".

Henry admitted touching the ball with his hand, but claimed that it wasn't his job to point this out, but the referee's.

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