UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina has defended France star Dimitri Payet after the tackle which injured Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo in the Euro 2016 final.
Payet, 29, said after the game that he had nothing to apologise for with regard to his robust eighth-minute challenge (which he was not booked for) that saw the Real Madrid forward stretchered off before Portugal went on to win the title 1-0.
"The entry of Payet, it was a foul," Collina, a former leading referee, told Gazzetta dello Sport. "He deserved a yellow? It is debatable, but the dynamic of the battle -- knee to knee -- it was accidental. It is an unfortunate episode. Payet did not want to hurt him."
Reports from Spain have suggested that Ronaldo visited a clinic while on holiday in Ibiza for hyperbaric oxygen therapy to speed recovery from his current knee injury.
The 31-year-old's mother tweeted a picture of her son in tears during the game, adding: "I cannot see my son in this way."
While Payet told reporters after Portugal's 1-0 win at the Stade de France: "I came in for a tackle, full stop. I got the ball back, but if I hurt him it wasn't intentional -- it's not in my nature to be a nasty player on the pitch. There's no question about that."