Home > Referees > Mr. Coulibaly Joins the List

Mr. Coulibaly Joins the List

Every so often, this site shifts into pure editorializing.  The best example of this is the “Oh Crap, This’ll Be Fun” List.  The purpose of the list is to keep track of those referees who US fans have learned, by experience, make for unpleasant matches.  Sometimes officials join the list because they statistically call more fouls and issue more cards against the US than our opponents.  And sometimes they join the list because they so poorly officiated a match that MNT fans would shudder if they ever encountered him officiating another US match.  Into this latter category, Mr. Coulibaly must fall notwithstanding the NYT Goal Blog’s stirring defense of him.

Turning, as always, to WorldReferee.com, we note that Mr. Coulibaly allegedly speaks English — he apparently feigned ignorance to US players when they asked for clarification.

But let’s get to what we do most: Coulibaly’s statistics.  And to look at him on paper, it’s a shame to see him fall.  First, the U.S. was 1-1 in matches he officiates (both U-17 World Cups).  And between those two matches, we had a total of two yellow cards to our opponents’ four.  And Coulibaly generally keeps his colors in his pocket: in 46 career international matches, he’d awarded only five penalties, seven red cards, and had an average of 3.6 yellow cards per match.  (Columbia would shudder at seeing Coulibaly on the pitch:  between the 2007 and 2009 U-17 World Cups, he officiated three Colombia matches and showed them 12 cards (4 per match) compared to a total of 4 cards to Colombia’s opponents.

In short, it gives me no pleasure to add Coulibaly to the list.  While I hope not to see him again this World Cup, I sincerely hope that he can begin to resurrect his reputation.

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