August 8, 2012
Source: Canadian player had verbal altercation with ref after the game
By Michael Lewis
LONDON — The Canadian women did not only criticize the decisions of referee Christina Pedersen, but one player apparently had a verbal confrontation with her immediately after Monday night’s game in Manchester, according to an international soccer source.
The player was involved in a verbal confrontation with the Norwegian game official in the tunnel at Old Trafford, a source said, after the team dropped a 4-3 decision to the United States in the Olympic women’s semifinals on Monday night.
The player, who was not identified, said a derogatory remark to Pedersen, who had called two controversial decisions against the Canadians, which led to the U.S.’s third and equalizing goal, the source said.
The Toronto Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday that FIFA will be “analyzing incidents that occurred after the conclusion,” of the match.
After the game, coach John Herdman, captain and striker Christine Sinclair and goalkeeper Erin McLeod criticized Pedersen, the former in a press conference, the latter two in the mixed zone.
“We feel like we got robbed in this game,” McLeod said. “The referee was very one-sided.”
Sinclair, a soft-spoken person whose hat trick sparked Canada, was just as adamant.
“We feel like we didn’t lose,” she said. “We feel like it was taken from us. It’s a shame in a game like that, which is so important that the ref decided the result before the game started.”
They were referring to events that led to the U.S.’s third goal in the 80th minute. McLeod had been called for holding the ball for more than six seconds by Pedersen, resulting in a U.S. indirect free kick.
McLeod said the referee claimed she had the ball for 10 seconds. “She obviously counted the time when I was on the ground with the ball,” she said.
“There was a warning from the linesman at the start of the second half. She said ‘Don’t delay the play too much’ but it wasn’t like a real warning. I have never known this to happen in a game before. It was an interesting decision. Referees never make this kind of decision.”
But this time one did.
“Go and watch the replay of that decision,” Herdman said. “That’ll be replaying for the next 10 years in Canadian history.”
U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe fired the ensuing indirect free kick into the defensive wall and off the arm of Marie-Eve Nault, which resulted in a penalty kick.
“She [the referee] actually giggled and said nothing, Classy!” Sinclair said. “In an important match it’s a disappointment that the referee had such an impact on it. We feel cheated.”
U.S. striker Abby Wambach fired her kick into the lower left corner for a 3-3 deadlock before Alex Morgan’s goal, scored in the third minute of stoppage time in extratime settled matters.
The Canadians will face France in the bronze-medal match in Coventry on Thursday.
“Maybe the referee will wear a Canadian jersey for this game,” Sinclair said. “I wouldn’t want to be the team that plays us next. I’ve never been so proud of the team, even with the result knowing that we are not playing for gold. I wouldn’t change a thing.”