Just hours before Spain’s crucial Euro 2012 semifinal match against Iberian neighbours Portugal, the country received a mental double-blow as UEFA announced they would not allow a minute’s silence following the deaths of Miki Roque and Manolo Preciado.
While the Spanish Football Federation have yet to officially pass comment, most of the football-supporting world, especially those with particular links to either of the two, expressed disgust and dismay that the governing body of European Football, led by Michel Platini, failed to allow the minute’s silence to proceed.
Earlier in the competition, France were permitted to hold a silence after the passing of sports journalist Thierry Roland, while Greece received approval to don black armbands to mark Alketas Panagoulias’ death, a former coach of the nation who took them to their first European Championships in 1980.
Spain also had an appeal to wear black armbands to mark today’s match turned down.
Several high profile names tweeted their disdain at UEFA’s decision, with one of Roque’s former team mates at Liverpool, Dani Pacheco, amongst them.
— Daniel Pacheco(@dani37pacheco) June 27, 2012
(UEFA, as always, setting the example. #oneminuteformiki #oneminuteforpreciado)
Miki Roque was a Real Betis defender who had to stop playing football last season, aged just 22, to fight against pelvic cancer. He unfortunately lost his battle just last week having made 12 league appearances for Betis’ first team.
Earlier in his career, Roque played a single game for Liverpool in the Champions League against Galatasary, and spent loan spells at Cartagena, Xerex and Oldham Athletic.
Manolo Preciado is the former manager and club legend of Sporting Gijon, who he left at the end of last season. Preciado agreed to take over as the new manager of recently relegated Villarreal, but suffered a fatal heart attack just the next day and was found already dead in a hotel in the Valencia region.
Preciado was aged 54 and had already suffered many losses of life in his close family, including his wife a decade ago and one of his sons in 2004.