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Beckham portrait defaced

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LONDON — A photographic portrait of David Beckham at the Royal Academy of Arts was defaced by graffiti Tuesday, officials said.

The vandals appeared angry with the captain of England's soccer team for his performance when the team lost to Portugal and fell out of the Euro 2004 tournament last week.

The words "You loosers" was written in indelible red felt pen on the 5-foot picture of Beckham in an exhibition of pictures of the world's greatest living soccer players.

The words "Beckham and Meier, you loosers" also were scrawled on a wall opposite a portrait of Pele in an apparent reference to the Swiss referee Urs Meier, who officiated during England's Euro 2004 quarterfinal defeat to Portugal and disallowed a last-minute English goal.