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Bilyaletdinov claims English referee bias

1 April 2012 02:10

Former Everton midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has launched a stinging attack on English referees.

Bilyaletdinov claims they have discriminated against Russian players since England lost out to Russia in their bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

He says that this bias against his countrymen played a part in his decision to leave the Premier League for Spartak Moscow.

"I can say with total certainty that the atmosphere took a turn for the worse after we beat them to the rights to host the World Cup," he said on Russian television channel Rossiya-2.

"The referees didn't have much sympathy for us. All other things being equal, you'd lose out.

"I left maybe not just for this reason, but what happened, happened."

The English media reported claims of corruption and vote-buying by senior FIFA executives during and after the selection process for the World Cup hosts and Bilyaletdinov said this 'bitterness' was also felt off the pitch.

"I felt it (bias) in the press, in relationships with people involved in the game. Maybe it was subconscious," he said.

The Russian international made 59 Premier League appearances for Everton scoring eight goals in two-and-a-half years on Merseyside.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 17 +31 41
2 17 +22 34
3 16 +17 32
4 17 +10 31
5 17 +8 30
6 17 +6 29
7 17 +5 27
8 17 -1 26
9 17 +4 25
10 17 -13 20
11 17 -7 18
12 17 -17 14
13 17 -11 13
14 16 -17 12
15 17 -15 11
16 17 -22 11

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