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Two Cultures Clash In Canada
Globe And Mail, May 19th, 2008 2:15PM



The setting was neutral Canada, and although the game was between Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew, Saturday's game ended up being all about two old adversaries on the international soccer stage -- England and Argentina. It was not so much a Falklands-style war (thankfully), but a cultural difference in approach to the concept of fair play.

TFC's coach John Carver is from England, where simulation is deeply frowned upon. The Crew's mercurial playmaker Guillermo Barros Schelotto is from Argentina, where fooling the referee is seen as an integral part of the professional game. But Carver quipped that Schelotto spent much of the 0-0 falling over "as if the wind was too strong for him." He added: "I want people to be honest and professional. That's not honest and professional."

Schelotto finally received a yellow card for diving in the game's 90th minute, after repeated appeals from Carver.  The coach, though, criticized the league for not wanting passionate managers like himself on the sideline. He felt that fourth official Mauricio Navarro dealt with him aggressively throughout Saturday's game, but left the Crew bench alone. Perhaps it's no coincidence that MLS circulated a DVD to referees last week demonstrating how coaches should not behave on the bench. The example used? John Carver during Toronto's game at New York.

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