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Carlos Valderrama wigs out
November 2nd, 2007 7AM
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TAGS:  international


Former Colombian star Carlos Valderrama, assistant coach of Atletico Junior, was ejected from a game against America of Cali for implying the referee had been bribed by waving cash in front of him after a penalty kick call. After the penalty kick provided a goal that helped end Junior's playoff hopes, Valderrama, a former MLS star, rushed the field, waved a 50,000 peso ($25) bill, and swore at referee Oscar Julian Ruiz, who later said, "Carlos is my idol, but his behavior really surprised me."

The incident sparked riots that injured 10 fans and resulted in the arrests of at least a dozen more in Junior's stadium in the Caribbean city of Barranquilla.

Valderrama, who captained Colombia at three World Cups, was escorted off the field by a dozen riot police. Junior's fans attacked America's supporters with sticks and other debris.

In postgame interviews, Valderrama called Ruiz a "thief."

Ruiz was a 2006 World Cup ref.


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