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No explanation on Coulibaly whistle forthcoming
by Paul Kennedy, June 19th, 2010 2:22PM

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TAGS:  men's national team, referees, world cup

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[USA] A day after the USA tied Slovenia, 2-2, after an apparent winning goal was called off for a foul whistled by Malian referee Koman Coulibaly, it still had no explanation from Coulibaly or FIFA about the call, but U.S. coach Bob Bradley isn't expecting an answer.

"I think it was a good goal," Bradley said on Saturday of Maurice Edu's goal in the 85th minute. "The only things that could be called would be [Slovenia fouls leading to] penalty kicks for us."

U.S. players pressed Coulibaly for an explanation but gone none.

"You don't expect an answer," Bradley said. "Typically things on the field happen fast. This isn't something referees would talk about a lot. You can speculate all you want about which guy. There was nothing there. It was a good goal. That's that."

Bradley must now make sure his players put the call behind them.

"The team as a whole had a strong response to the disallowed goal," Bradley said. "I end up feeling badly for the team and for our fans. A 3-2 comeback win giving us a chance of advancing would be something that would be special for everybody. It didn't happen. We put it behind us. We understand that if we win our last game we can still win the group. We have moved forward."



13 comments
  1. Ralph Leftwich
    commented on: June 19, 2010 at 3:15 p.m.
    We should move on. Please remember the controversy in 1998. Esse Baharmast was wrongly accused of making a bad call and then it was confirmed to be correct. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esse_Baharmast

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 19, 2010 at 3:36 p.m.
    Ralph, are you implying that what happened to Bahamarst in '98 would be similar to Coulibaly's atrocious and extremely controversial non-call? Come on now, in '98 we didn't have the instantaneous video covereage, and if anything should have been called, it sould have bee several penalties against Slovenia players for holding at least four of our players.... embracing them and preventing them from having a "sporting" change at the ball!! Go figure. Heard on TV that Coulibaly was ent home... any true to this rumor? PLAY ON I SAY!

  1. Terence Chu
    commented on: June 19, 2010 at 4:15 p.m.
    Right on. Its over, and its not the first time something like this has happened. Now we know what its like to be robbed on the big stage, just like all the other top teams in the world. Call it a rite of passage in world football! Like you guys said, lets move on and win the next one. GO USA.

  1. Terence Chu
    commented on: June 19, 2010 at 4:17 p.m.
    Oh and I havent forgotten the handball in 2002, nor the phantom penalty in 2006. This one is just much more high profile.

  1. Ihor v Kutynsky
    commented on: June 19, 2010 at 4:21 p.m.
    Everybody just relax and take a GOOD LOOK at a series of photos of the incident published in the 6/19/10 NEW YORK TIMES. There OUR players are the ones pulling and grabbing the Slovenians,to wit: Bocanegra got his arms totally wrapped around one defender,Edu, the "goal scorer" got his forearm in the face of another preventing him to aid the first,Bradley pulling on another.The Ref WAS RIGHT THERE so was the AR who raised his flag. We have a tendency in this country to whine about everything,particularly in soccer(Jozy ,Dempsey,Bradley,et.al) even the announcers Harkes and a Brit!! expounding jingoist remarks.I say,just shut up and play.You were lucky to come back when the Slovenian keeper gave Donovan a gift by freezing in an akward position like a deer in headlights!

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: June 19, 2010 at 5:38 p.m.
    It looks like all the people forgot to thank the same referee for not sending Dempsey off in the first minute for elbowing a Slovenian player. Soccer is "the great equalizer". Sometimes, you get calls your way and against you some other times. Just, count your blessings and go on with the game.

  1. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis
    commented on: June 19, 2010 at 8:32 p.m.
    This occurrence ought to have our guys burning to beat Algeria convincingly in the third game, and when that happens, the bad call won't matter at all.

  1. Gareth Bale
    commented on: June 20, 2010 at 12:24 a.m.
    Paul - Last time I checked, the US played Slovenia, not Slovakia. Please try not to be an ignorant American and at least know the difference between the countries playing in the World Cup. Your reference to France losing to Uruguay instead of Mexico in another article is another howler. Seriously man, you should be on the bench with Robert Green. Sort it out. Jeez...

  1. Mark Wallis
    commented on: June 20, 2010 at 3:16 a.m.
    Ihor - You'd "freeze in the headlights" too if if you realized that in a few seconds your head could go flying into the back of the net, followed shortly thereafter by your teeth and then the ball. The goalie acted reflexively as would every goalie in that position. No "gift" there, just self preservation.

  1. Mark Wallis
    commented on: June 20, 2010 at 3:33 a.m.
    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the ancient African proverb/poem: When you're walking the streets of Mali Be sure not to step in the coulibaly

  1. Douglas Frey
    commented on: June 20, 2010 at 7:06 a.m.
    Ihor - I have reviewed the images myself over and over again, THERE WAS NO FOUL COMMITTED BY A US PLAYER. I have been a ref for over 20 years from the youth to the pro level and I see nothing. The ref blew the foul before Landon kicked the ball. It appears to me that he was looking at Edu and called him for a foul but no one can be sure. Oh and by the way, the AR never raised his flag. This is all on the Center ref.

  1. Gary Wien
    commented on: June 20, 2010 at 12:33 p.m.
    "Right on. Its over, and its not the first time something like this has happened. Now we know what its like to be robbed on the big stage, just like all the other top teams in the world. Call it a rite of passage in world football! " Yeah, as if US Soccer has never been robbed on the big stage before...

  1. James Hunt
    commented on: June 21, 2010 at 10:26 a.m.
    Best explanation I've heard was hinted at in Douglas Frey's comment: "blew the foul before Landon kicked the ball." I think it was immediately thereafter, but I heard someone -- Donovan? -- say he thought that it was an immediate makeup call, that the ref had decided that the call on Altidore was a mistake and so he would nullify it by blowing the whistle as soon as Donovan took the free kick. You can always claim there's a foul in the jostling.


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