IL CIOCCO, ITALY, JUNE 15 -- Soviet soccer officials made a verbal protest to the sport's international governing body today over what they called biased refereeing that led to the team's virtual elimination from the World Cup.

A delegation led by Soviet soccer federation vice president Nikita Simonyan, visited FIFA headquarters in Rome, where it protested "biased refereeing against the Soviet team, especially by Swedish referee {Erik} Fredriksson," in its 2-0 loss to Argentina Wednesday.

The Soviets said Fredriksson missed what appeared to be a hand ball by Argentine captain Diego Maradona.

Maradona admitted Thursday he inadvertently used his hand to stop the ball from going into the Argentine goal in the first half.

Soviet team officials said Fredriksson refereed a 1986 match the Soviets lost to Belgium, 3-2, that knocked them out of the World Cup in Mexico. Two of the Belgian goals appeared to have come on offside plays.

"Referees can make mistakes, but Fredriksson's two-time biased refereeing against our team cannot be considered accidental," Simonyan said.

A Soviet team official, who declined to quoted by name, said: "We would like to see Fredriksson banned from refereeing for life.

"If he wants to continue a refereeing career, we would be glad to offer him a job in Siberia," the official said sarcastically." "This Team Is Very Proud"

All eyes are on amazing Cameroon after it first stunned defending champion Argentina, 1-0, in the tournament opener and then beat Romania, 2-1, to become the first team to advance to the second round.

"We were prepared for this, that is all I can tell you," said Coach Valeri Nepomnyashchy, the team's Soviet coach. "This team is very proud. This country is very proud."

Cameroon lies on the western curve of Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea, between Nigeria and Gabon. It has 8.5 million people and is the only African nation in which French and English have equal status.

Its team is a mixture of amateurs and six pros, who play in France, Spain and Cameroon.