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Pekerman diverts focus from Berlin referee

Written by: Staff

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, June 29 (Reuters) Argentina coach Jose Pekerman diverted attention today from the refereeing of tomorrow's World Cup quarter-final against hosts Germany.

Pekerman said tomorrow's match would be settled by the football displayed by two evenly balanced teams that can both be regarded as favourites.

''We give no importance to the refereeing,'' Pekerman said when asked what he thought of the appointment of Slovakian match official Lubos Michel.

''I want to emphasise that we are very happy here in Germany, enjoying the World Cup ... and that puts us in a position of respect (towards our hosts) and this (match) will be resolved on the pitch, playing football,'' he told a news conference.

''Germany have done very good things in the Klinsmann period, a renewal with many new players, an attacking style that is producing great matches for them.

''This has to be said, and the same for Argentina, who always go out to play. The truth will be revealed on the pitch.'' HONOUR MEMORY Pekerman, speaking on the 20th anniversary of Argentina's second and last world title in Mexico, said his team would try to honour the memory of the side captained by Diego Maradona.

''More than ever, we will honour that title,'' Pekerman said.

''Because we know just how difficult it is to get to the title.

''We also honour the title of 1978,'' he added, referring to Argentina's first World Cup victory on home soil.

''And we salute all the good teams Argentina have had, with and without titles.

''This team has signs of those teams,'' Pekerman said referring to his own players. ''They way they play, the positions some of the players occupy.

''They are trying to keep the history going. In each one of these lads there is a bit of that history.'' REUTERS DH RK1750

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