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Regional Referees and Red Cards

While checking out one of the official U.S. Soccer blogs, we were reminded that the official who signaled Busacca to red card Kljestan was Coffi Codjia.  Now Codjia came into the tournament with some issues:  in April, one of Tunisia’s “giant” clubs protested his selection for an African Champions League match citing his history of bias and poor officiating.  And they won and had him replaced.  (Goal.com article)

But more interesting is the progression of red cards and our next-game opponents:

Pablo Pozo (South America) red carded Ricardo Clark; he was suspended for the match against Brazil, the South American champions.

Coffi Codjia (Africa) instructed Busacca (Europe) to red card Sacha Klejstan; he was suspended for the match against Egypt, the African champions.  (And the U.S. had to beat Egypt by three to advance out of the group ahead of European champions Italy.)

Jose Larrionda (South America) red carded Michael Bradley (very late); he was suspended for the Final against Brazil, the South American champions.

So, it isn’t just referees giving three straight red cards, an event unprecedented in the Confederations Cup, but each red card benefitted their region’s champion.

And the only referee who didn’t straight red card a U.S. player?  Michael Hester (Oceania) whose national team and regional champion, New Zealand, never had any prospect of facing the U.S.

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Categories: Referees

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