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FIFA drops referee after dropped call

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PRETORIA, South Africa – Controversial referee Koman Coulibaly was left off FIFA’s list for the next batch of World Cup matches following the error that cost the United States a victory against Slovenia.

Yahoo! Sports revealed on Friday that Coulibaly was “highly unlikely” to take any further part in the tournament after being given a poor evaluation by assessors following his decision to disallow Maurice Edu’s 85th-minute goal. FIFA confirmed Sunday that Coulibaly will not play any part in Tuesday or Wednesday’s matches, which will include the USA’s critical Group C finale against Algeria.

Instead, as they step into the arena of Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday with their World Cup life at stake, the Americans will be officiated by a man who has just witnessed a combat far more brutal than any game in the tournament.

Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere will prepare himself for the occasion by watching a DVD of the movie “Gladiator” before taking center stage in a game that decides the USA’s destiny – with a victory guaranteed to put the Americans through to the round of 16.

FIFA deliberately assigned De Bleeckere, a highly experienced and respected referee, to this game in response to the storm of controversy that came after the United States’ 2-2 draw with Slovenia. De Bleeckere has been in charge of big matches many times in the past, most notably a Champions League clash between Chelsea and Barcelona in 2006 which came a year after a pair of explosive matches between those European super clubs.

“I don’t look at reputation or anything that has gone before,” De Bleeckere said. “I will watch the previous games of USA and Algeria to help me understand their tactics and work on my positioning. But I will watch ‘Gladiator’ first.”

Referees at the tournament have come under heavy criticism after a series of bad calls compounded by a stubborn refusal to explain their actions publicly.

On Monday, the FIFA referee committee tried to go on a charm offensive by inviting the media to an open day but totally defeated the object of the exercise by refusing to answer questions about specific decisions.

Neither Coulibaly nor Stephane Lannoy – the French referee who erred in sending off Brazil’s Kaka against the Ivory Coast on Sunday – were present. Coulibaly’s assistant, Inacio Candido of Angola, was in attendance.

When asked if the controversy following the Edu no-goal had affected Coulibaly, Candido replied: “A referee is like a player. When they lose an opportunity to score a goal, they put it behind them.”

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I like there way there handling this

What is it with this whole gladiator thing?

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still think FIFA should have overruled him in the grand scheme of things...

I smell $$$ in his pockets from someone...


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still think FIFA should have overruled him in the grand scheme of things...

I smell $$$ in his pockets from someone...

You cant change the rules after the game has already started. I hope FIFA does something to address this problem by the next World Cup.

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You cant change the rules after the game has already started. I hope FIFA does something to address this problem by the next World Cup.

i hope obama does something about this once he takes office.


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In the world of real men's football, the decision of the ref is final. FIFA can't change what's been called already. I pray dearly that FIFA doesn't introduce instant replay into football match. That would suck so much.


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i hope obama does something about this once he takes office.

Charles gets 5 douchebag points for this post. The thread is about soccer/football, no need for your hack partisan political commentary. Get on topic mkay.

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Charles gets 5 douchebag points for this post. The thread is about soccer/football, no need for your hack partisan political commentary. Get on topic mkay.

and you get 10 for using the word "douchebag" ;)


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USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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I pray dearly that FIFA doesn't introduce instant replay into football match. That would suck so much.

It would decimate the fan base. I sure wouldn't watch soccer matches anymore if I had to spend 3-4 hours watching a 90 minute game - the rest of the time eventually being filled with stupid commercials.

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In the world of real men's football, the decision of the ref is final. FIFA can't change what's been called already. I pray dearly that FIFA doesn't introduce instant replay into football match. That would suck so much.

As unfair as it seems, I totally agree with your post..


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In the world of real men's football, the decision of the ref is final. FIFA can't change what's been called already. I pray dearly that FIFA doesn't introduce instant replay into football match. That would suck so much.

All the same, you can't really defend the call of the ref with anything other than he happened to be on a different planet and/or was planning for retirement.

I'm not suggesting that every call be reviewed by instant replay. The NFL has a pretty good model for letting teams have access to instant replay review without greatly slowing the game or bogging down every call with instant replay. I think a similar thing could be implemented, especially considering that most major calls in soccer stop play anyways (cards and goals, etc.).

Barring that, having a couple more officials on the field would also help out. Soccer has 3 referees compared to American football's 7, in spite of the fact that a soccer field is bigger and the game moves more rapidly and frequently from one side to the other and there is the same number of players on the field.

You can say what you want about "real men's football" but the reality is the current officiating system is not working. This particular game is only one of many that demonstrates this.

Edited by SMR

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All the same, you can't really defend the call of the ref with anything other than he happened to be on a different planet and/or was planning for retirement.

I'm not suggesting that every call be reviewed by instant replay. The NFL has a pretty good model for letting teams have access to instant replay review without greatly slowing the game or bogging down every call with instant replay. I think a similar thing could be implemented, especially considering that most major calls in soccer stop play anyways (cards and goals, etc.).

Barring that, having a couple more officials on the field would also help out. Soccer has 3 referees compared to American football's 7, in spite of the fact that a soccer field is bigger and the game moves more rapidly and frequently from one side to the other and there is the same number of players on the field.

You can say what you want about "real men's football" but the reality is the current officiating system is not working. This particular game is only one of many that demonstrates this.

I would give each team one instant replay to start just to see how it works. If the ref was given access to 2 min of video it would add 4 minutes to the game. Of course I also think refs should have to explain a foul when calling one.

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The NFL has a pretty good model for letting teams have access to instant replay review without greatly slowing the game...

:rofl: How much more could you possibly slow down the game? It already takes over 3 hours to get through 60 minutes of actual game time. If that ain't enough of a slow-down then I sure don't know what is.

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:rofl: How much more could you possibly slow down the game? It already takes over 3 hours to get through 60 minutes of actual game time. If that ain't enough of a slow-down then I sure don't know what is.

That's primarily due to clock stoppages. You make a play and run out of bounds that automatically stops the clock. An incomplete pass stops the clock etc.

You'll notice that games haven't really changed in length since IR was introduced.

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